Ballet Hispanico's Instituto Coreografico Continues Tomorrow

Ballet Hispánico, the nation's premier Latino dance organization, presents the next installment of its choreographic institute, Instituto Coreográfíco,with a showing and reception on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the company's headquarters at 167 W. 89th Street, NYC.

This year's Instituto Coreográfico features Mexican-American choreographer Stephanie Martinez, an award-winning Chicago dance artist with over 30 years of professional performing experience who has been choreographing for seven years, along with filmmaker Angelo Silvio Vasta. The groundbreaking Instituto Coreográfico provides emerging Latino choreographers and dance filmmakers with a professional and supportive environment in which to explore their heritage and develop their craft. Choreographers receive ongoing feedback from a group of notable artistic mentors and advisors, archive recordings of the rehearsals, an edited film of the resulting work, an academic advisor, and a showing of their work. Should an artistically appropriate work emerge from this process, it could enter Ballet Hispánico's permanent repertory. Filmmakers are paired with a choreographer and mentored by filmmaker Nel Shelby.

The Spring 2016 Instituto Coreográfico was made possible in part by leadership support from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and the Ford Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces Grant Program. Additional support was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.


In 2010, Ballet Hispánico's Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro launched a new choreography institute for Latino artists to create culturally specific work in a nurturing learning laboratory of dance. Through the Instituto Coreográfico, Ballet Hispánico encourages the development of Latino leaders and the creation of new works of art that expand our cultural dialogue. The inaugural Instituto Coreográfíco took place in September 2010 when Cuban-American choreographer Maray Ramis Gutierrez created a new work, Puntos Suspensivos, on company members which then premiered two months later during Ballet Hispánico's annual New York season at The Joyce Theater. The Instituto continued in January 2011 when former Ballet Hispánico dancer Nicholas Villeneuve created a new work on his fellow company members. The program in June 2011 featured Cuban choreographer George Céspedes, a dancer with Danza Contemporánea de Cuba who is among the few Cuban nationals to create a work for a major U.S. dance company. The most recent installment of the program, held in May 2015, featured Mexican-American choreographer Michelle Manzanales.


Stephanie Martinez is an award-winning Chicago dance artist with over 30 years professional performing experience on stage, film and television. During her 17 year stint with River North Dance Chicago, she worked with guest choreographers Ashley Roland, Kevin Iega Jeff, Daniel Ezralow, Frank Chaves, Sherry Zunker and Ron De Jesus, among others, and was merited the Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Performance. Her eclectic performance resume also includes guesting with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance, Ron De Jesus Dance, and as a featured dancer for The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the 2006 World Cup opening ceremonies with Diana Ross.

Upon leaving RNDT, she made her 2009 choreographic debut, AviMar, for Luna Negra Dance Theatre's 10th anniversary season, instantly securing her status as a sought-after dance-maker. Since then, she has been traveling across the country setting works on professional companies and universities. She is one of the 2015 3Arts Awards Recipients in Chicago, which recognizes women in the arts, and completed a residency at the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago as a 2014 "Winning Works: Choreographers of Color" award winner. Most recently she set a piece on the Kansas City Ballet for their New Works program. Forthcoming commissions include Eugene Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Neos Dance Theatre, Dance St. Louis and Dance Kaleidoscope.


Angelo Silvio Vasta is a New York-based filmmaker from Milan, Italy. His work explores the infinite ways choreography and performance can be expressed through moving images. In the past years he has produced a series of short dance films for dance companies and individual dancers both in New York City and abroad. His work includes music videos, short films, video-portraits, and promotional clips. In 2014 he was awarded for his excellence in Visual Design at the 35th Fine Cuts Film Show at The New School in NYC. Angelo received his BFA in International Politics from University of Milan, Italy and his Certificate in Film Production from The New School.

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