October 16, 2013

Ballet Hispanico performs Nov. 1 at Weis Center

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Ballet Hispanico will grace the Weis Center stage at Bucknell University on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro will give a free pre-performance talk from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. in the Weis Center Lobby.

The performance is sponsored, in part, by The Standard-Journal in Milton.

Celebrating 43 years of dance and culture, Ballet Hispanico is recognized as the nation's premier Latino dance organization. The company has performed for an audience of nearly 3 million, throughout 11 countries, on three continents.

Ballet Hispanico's performance will include a dozen dancers and four dance pieces: "Jardi Tancat", "Sombrerísimo", "Sortijas" and "Mad'moiselle." There will be two 15-minute intermissions in the performance.

Based on Catalonian folk tales sung by Maria del Mar Bonet, "Jardi Tancat" won first prize at the International Choreographic Workshop in Cologne. With equal shades of passion and melancholy, the ballet evokes the despairing yet hopeful prayers of Spaniards who wait for rain on their barren land.

An absorbing exploration of individuality, "Sombrerísimo" is an athletic tour de force for six men, full of rhythmic agility and stylistic flair. The work was specially commissioned for the 10th anniversary of New York City Center's Fall for Dance Festival. 
"Sortijas" (Rings) is a duet that celebrates Latino tradition by representing the circular ties of family and friends that link communities together over generations. "Mad'moiselle" is a new work that explores iconic male/female images and gender identity in Latin American cultures.

The works expand on founder Tina Ramirez's legacy of exploring the diversity of Latino culture through a fusion of classical, Latin and contemporary dance powered by theatricality and passion. Led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the company boasts a rich and diverse repertory of more than 100 works by foremost choreographers and emerging artists.

Vilaro joined Ballet Hispanico as artistic director in August 2009, following a 10-year record of achievement as founder and artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. He has been part of the Ballet Hispanico family since 1985. As a dancer in the Ballet Hispanico Company, he performed works by Vicente Nebrada, Talley Beatty, Ramon Oller and other audience favorites.

As an educator he assisted Ballet Hispanico founder Tina Ramirez in developing a program for children living in temporary housing and was involved with many aspects of the organization's education residencies.

Vilaro is an accomplished choreographer, having created more than 20 ballets for his own company in addition to the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Lexington Ballet and the Civic Ballet of Chicago. In 2001 he received a Ruth Page Award for choreography, and in 2003 he was honored at Panama's II International Festival of Ballet for his choreographic work.

This tour of Ballet Hispanico is funded through Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's ArtsCONNECT program with support from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.

The presentation of Ballet Hispanico was made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors ages 62+, $10 for youth under 18, and $10 for college students.

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000.

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore in Lewisburg weekdays and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 12:30 to 4 p.m.; and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center, weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about this performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by email at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

The next event in the Weis Center's 2013-14 Series is a concert by Venezuelan-born classical pianist Gabriela Martinez on Friday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors ages 62+, $10 for youth under 18, and $10 for all college students.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or facebook.com/WeisCenter