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BWW Review: Be Wowed by BALLET HISPANICO at the Joyce through 4/10

Ballet Hispanico is now celebrating its 45th Anniversary New York Season at the Joyce Theater through April 10th. Dance lovers and many more will enjoy seeing the company's distinctive brand of dance that has a real wow factor. Energetic, entertaining and always surprising, the company fuses the finest modern ballet with a fantastic Latino flair.

We attended the Tuesday evening performance of Program A. The show opened with the stunning New York Premiere of "Flabbergast." It is choreographed by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, with costumes conceived by Sansano. The music is by Juan Garcia Esquivel and the lighting design is by Jared Moore. "Flabbergast" is a humorous, fast paced piece that depicts a stranger coming to a new place surrounded by people that are true stereotypes in a community. Suitcases are used as a clever and colorful prop to convey the universal theme. This opening number, performed by twelve of the company members, was a perfect display of the company's boundless energy and talent.

The second piece set a very different tone. "Bury Me Standing" is a passionate dance choreographed by Ramon Oller with traditional gypsy and flamenco music by Lole y Manuel, costume design by Aviad Arik Herman and lighting design by Joshua Preston. It is a poignant ballet that captures the struggle and joys of migrant peoples. This moving piece, originally performed in 1998, is very timely with the current refugee crisis. "Bury Me Standing" showcases the company's remarkable creativity, a delicate blending of traditional ballet and modern technique with a thoughtful emphasis on cultural significance.

After the intermission, the company performed an exciting display of traditional partner dances, beautifully reinvented in "Club Havana." The choreography by Pedro Ruiz uses a wide variety of lively musical pieces. The festive party costumes are designed by Ghabriello Fernando and the lighting design is by Donald Holder. "Club Havana" takes the Cha-Cha-Cha, Mambo, Rhumba and Conga to a whole new level with captivating pairing and incredible lifts. Sexy, yet subtle, romance is alive and well in "Club Havana," an ideal grand finale for the wonderful performance of dance by this brilliant company.

Ballet Hispanico was founded by Tina Ramirez. The Artistic Director and CEO is Eduardo Vilaro. The company includes Christopher Bloom, Kassandra Cruz, Mark Gieringer, Eila Valls, Cole Vernon, Martina Calcagno, Mario Ismael Espinoza, Christopher Hernandez, Kimberly Van Woesik, Diana Winfree, Shelby Colona, Melissa Fernandez, Johan Rivera Mendez, Lyvan Verdecia and Joshua Winzeler.

Ballet Hispanico will be at the Joyce Theater through April 10th and will include a special matinee for children and families. The theater is located at 175 8th Avenue at 18th Street.

Tickets start at $10 and are now on sale at www.joyce.org.

For more information on Ballet Hispanico and their programs, visit www.ballethispanico.org.

Photo Credit: Paula Lobo


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