Ballet Hispánico, America’s leading Latino dance organization known for “piercing stereotypes” (The New York Times), announces its highly-anticipated 50th Celebration commemorating half a century of dance, orgullo, education, sabor, access, amor, community, espíritu, and innovation—a love poem to one of America’s Cultural Treasures.
The 50th Celebration free virtual public premiere will be held on Friday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET. A spectacular event hosted by Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro and School of Dance students Chelsea Phillips and Theo Adarkar, the evening will feature performances by the Ballet Hispánico Company and student artists at the School of Dance with premieres by Lauren Anderson, Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, and Belén Maya; performances of works by Graciela Daniele, Ann Reinking, Geoffrey Holder, Nacho Duato, Pedro Ruiz, and Gustavo Ramírez Sansano; and appearances by celebrity guests including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Luis Miranda, Rosie Perez, Lauren Anderson, Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, and Darren Walker.
“We are honored to be joined by such an amazing group of artists and supporters to commemorate the legacy and future of Ballet Hispánco,” said Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director & CEO. “The past year has been a challenging time for everyone, and we look forward to this opportunity to gather with our beloved community virtually and safely to perform for you, to honor our roots, and celebrate our heritage and growth.”
The 50th Celebration will be available for two weeks on YouTube, Facebook, and ballethispanico.org. To receive exciting announcements, special content, and reminders for the Public Premiere of this celebratory event, register for free at ballethispanico.org/50th-celebration/registration.
There will also be a virtual private screening on Thursday, May 27, at 6:30 p.m. ET that includes a live post-performance conversation with special guests. Join the celebration, make a toast with the virtual audience, and ask questions live during the post-performance conversation. Tickets for the private event begin at $150 and are available at ballethispanico.org. For more information, please contact Ellie Craven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s Executive Producers are Jody and John Arnhold, Richard E. Feldman, Kate Lear and Jonathan LaPook.
Eduardo Vilaro is the artistic director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. A Ballet Hispánico (BH) dancer and educator from 1988 to 1996, he left New York, earned a master’s in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago, then embarked on his own act of advocacy with a ten-year record of achievement as founder and artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. Vilaro was named BH’s artistic director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named chief executive officer. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, he is a frequent speaker on the merits of the intersectionality of cultures and the importance of nurturing and building Latinx leaders.
Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectionality with other diasporas. His works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets with commissions that include the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony.
The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Vilaro received the Ruth Page Award for choreography in 2001; was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2016; and was awarded HOMBRE Magazine’s 2017 Arts & Culture Trailblazer of the Year. In 2019, he received the West Side Spirit’s WESTY Award, was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts and was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award. In August 2020, City & State Magazine included Vilaro in the inaugural Power of Diversity: Latin 100 list. In January 2021, Vilaro was recognized with a Compassionate Leaders Award, given to leaders who are courageous, contemplative, collaborative, and care about the world they will leave behind. He is a well-respected speaker on such topics as diversity, equity and inclusion in the arts.
Ballet Hispánico is the nation’s renowned Latino dance organization and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance performances, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences.
Founded in 1970 by National Medal of Arts recipient, Tina Ramírez, the organization emerged during the post-Civil Rights Movement on New York’s Upper West Side, providing a safe haven for primarily Black and Brown Latinx youth seeking artistic sanctuary during New York City’s plight in the 1970s. The need for place, both culturally and artistically, led families to find Ballet Hispánico. The focus on dance as a means to develop working artists, combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory.
With its strong emphasis on dance, achievement, and public presence, the organization has flourished in its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. The organization serves as a platform for historically omitted and overlooked artists providing them with increased capacity, voice, and affirmation. Over the past five decades, by leading with Latinx culture at the forefront of performance, education, and advocacy, Ballet Hispánico’s mission is a catalyst of change and possibility for communities throughout our nation.
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