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Ballet Hispánico Will Present a Virtual Showing of INSTITUTO COREOGRAFICO This Week

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The evening will feature a work-in-process by choreographer Marielis Garcia filmed by Spencer James Weidie.

Ballet Hispánico Will Present a Virtual Showing of INSTITUTO COREOGRAFICO This Week

Ballet Hispánico, the nation's leading Latino dance organization since 1970 and recognized as one of America's Cultural Treasures, presents a virtual showing of the 2021 Instituto Coreográfico on June 10 at 6pm at ballethispanico.org, and on YouTube and Facebook.

The evening will feature a work-in-process by choreographer Marielis Garcia filmed by Spencer James Weidie and set on Ballet Hispánico Company dancers, followed by a live discussion hosted by Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro with special guests Marielis Garcia, Company Dancers Amanda del Valle and Lenai Alexis Wilkerson, and mentor Kimberly Bartosik.

Instituto Coreográfico invites audience members, dance leaders, presenters, and choreographers to respond, reflect, and enter into dialogue about dance and culture with an emerging choreographer through showings and panel discussions. With this invaluable platform, Ballet Hispánico continues to give a voice to young artists and opens access to the dance-making process for all audiences. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/instituto-2021.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 spring Instituto Coreográfico will have a combination of virtual and in-person components. Ballet Hispánico is committed to keeping all artists safe during the pandemic and adhering to current health and safety protocols with dancers to enable the choreographer to work in studio.

A dancer, choreographer, and educator, Marielis Garcia holds a BFA in Dance and an MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice. Marielis is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland, and is developing work for Alvin Ailey/Fordham School as part of the New Directions Choreography Lab.

"In concert dance, there are very few, if any, female Dominican-American choreographers in the conversation/canon. I hope to change that," said Garcia. "I use the corporeality of the body to direct and choreograph environments that give rise to curiosity, foster creativity, and kindle transparency and exchange. My work is a manifestation of my colliding roles as maker, performer, and audience; making me invariably dependent on the people, the bodies, and the emotions of those who dance or watch one of my works."

Spencer James Weidie from Hawaii is a dancer, choreographer, and photographer who has studied at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY (BFA Honors), London Contemporary Dance School, Springboard Danse Montreal, and with the Merce Cunningham Trust. Spencer is a current company member of Brian Brooks Dance, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and was a featured guest artist with Gallim Dance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Now in its ninth year, the Instituto has helped to provide an important platform for eleven choreographers. The program provides young Latinx artists a supportive environment in which to explore process, cultural identity, and movement invention through the creation of dance.

When Ballet Hispánico was founded 50 years ago, Latinx artists were invisible to the dance field. Since its founding, Ballet Hispánico has played an instrumental role in changing the narrative; now, generations of Latinx artists have produced art that reinterprets their heritage, bringing fresh perspectives on the Latinx experience. In 2010, Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro launched Instituto Coreográfico, a choreographic institute for Latinx artists to create culturally specific work in a nurturing learning laboratory of dance. The choreographer in residence is paired with an emerging filmmaker to document their process, create promotional materials, and add a layer of artistic collaboration.

"As a dancer back in the '80s, I could count on one hand the number of Latinx choreographers who would come through the door," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO. "Instituto Coreográfico is a way of nourishing, mentoring, and developing leaders and artists of color, particularly Latinas and Latinos."

Major funding for Instituto Coreográfico was provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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