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Michelle Tabnick
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New York City Center
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New York City Center Presents: A BAILAR: DANCE AT THE CENTER, February 18 - March 7

by Michelle Tabnick
February 8, 2015
New York City Center
130 West 56th Street
(Audience Entrance is on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
(Entrance for Studios and Offices is on West 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
New York City Center will present A Bailar: Dance at the Center, a three-week Latin dance festival featuring three acclaimed dance companies from Cuba, Argentina and Spain, running February 18 – March 7, 2015. The Festival kicks off with the U.S. debut of "Havana Rakatan," a celebration of Cuban dance and music, and continues with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's m¡longa, which captures the sultry world of Buenos Aires tango. "Voces, Suite Flamenca," a new work from flamenco superstar Sara Baras, closes A Bailar. The Festival's many free pre-show events include dance lessons and discussion panels that will explore Latin culture through a variety of lenses.

"Havana Rakatan"
February 18 – 22, 2015

Performing for the first time in the United States, "Havana Rakatan" explores the roots of Cuban music and dance, a unique fusion of Spanish culture and African spiritual beliefs, accompanied by the son band Turquino. Flamenco, Yoruba and Afro-Haitian rhythms, as well as jazz, mambo, and son, give way to the modern forms of salsa that originated in the early twentieth-century salon dances. Havana Rakatan made its hugely successful debut in 2007 at the Peacock Theatre in London and has since toured all over the world.

Cuban choreographer Nilda Guerra directs a talented and versatile company of dancers, most of whom are graduates of the renowned Escuela Nacional de Arte de la Habana, which combines contemporary dance training with Cuban dance and Latin styles. Havana Rakatan also features the eight-piece Cuban band Turquino, which performs live onstage.

"Havana Rakatan" is presented by New York City Center in association with Sadler's Wells and Congas Productions.

February 26 – March 1, 2015

Deeply rooted in Argentinean culture, tango has fascinated and captivated the world with its sensuality, power and beauty. In m¡longa, celebrated contemporary choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui takes the m¡longa—a social dance evening held in Buenos Aires' intimate late-night bars—as a starting point and adds a contemporary twist. The production features ten tango dancers, two contemporary dancers, and an Argentinean tango band of five musicians.

New York City Center presents Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's m¡longa, a Sadler's Wells production.

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras: "Voces, Suite Flamenca"
March 4 – 7, 2015

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras' "Voces, Suite Flamenca" captures the emotion, drama and passion of traditional flamenco with a vibrant contemporary edge. Celebrated for her brilliant footwork and captivating stage presence, Baras has become internationally famous in a career that has spanned more than 20 years and earned her dozens of prestigious dance awards. Baras is joined onstage by her company of 15 dancers, including guest artist José Serrano, and eight flamenco musicians.

"Voces, Suite Flamenca" is presented by New York City Center and Flamenco Festival.

New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. It was Manhattan's first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, City Center's Principal Dance Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as "one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York." In summer 2013, City Center launched Encores! Off-Center, a new series featuring landmark Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today's most innovative artists. Dance has been integral to the theater's mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center's identity. Vital partnerships with arts organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center and London's Sadler's Wells Theatre enhance City Center's programmatic offerings. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People's Dance Series. Special workshops cater to families, seniors, and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities for the general public. In October 2011, City Center completed an extensive renovation project to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.

"Havana Rakatan" will play seven performances, February 18-22, as follows: Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19 at 7:30 pm, Friday, February 20 at 8 pm, Saturday, February 21 at 2 and 8 pm, and Sunday, February 22 at 2 and 7 pm.

m¡longa will play four performances, February 26 – March 22, as follows: Thursday, February 26, Friday, February 27, and Saturday, February 28, at 8 pm, and Sunday, March 1, at 2 pm. February 26 – 28 at Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday, March 1 at 2 pm.

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras will play four performances, March 4-7, as follows: Wednesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 5 at 7:30 pm, and Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at 8 pm.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix® at (212) 581-1212, or at the City Center Box Office at 131 W. 55th St. (between 6th & 7th Aves). For more information, please visit www.NYCityCenter.org.
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