Ballet Hispanico Explores Latino Culture Through Dance at NYC’s Joyce Theater

April 20, 2015 by No Comments

Female ballet dancer

Throughout any given year, New York City plays host to hundreds of highly diverse events and greets more than 50 million visitors from all across the globe.

And throughout the month of April, the Joyce Theater hosted the world premiere of Ballet Hispanico’s “Conquer” and the New York premiere of “Show.Girl.” — two programs that celebrate and explore Latino culture through the medium of dance.

According to the Columbia Spectator, Ballet Hispanico, a dance company led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, works to “deepen awareness of Latinos and Latino artists with works that reflect the cultures of the artists.”

“(These works reflect) the new millennia of Latino — what is Latino dance, what are Latinos thinking about,” Vilaro said. “I continuously look to have the art develop a dialogue about not only dance, but Latino culture.”

“Show.Girl.” is a program choreographed by Miami-based choreographer Rosie Herrera which explores the ideas and themes behind what it means to be a Latina woman in the 21st century, including depictions of the struggles that Latinas experience in a male-dominated world. The program incorporates aesthetic elements from Cuban cabaret to tell its story, according to the New York Times.

Meanwhile, “Conquer,” choreographed by Mexican choreographer Miguel Mancillas is a more internal, raw and athletic work, depicting ideas of power and control to reveal glimpses of the dancers’ inner emotional vulnerabilities. Ultimately, the piece is meant to explore the primal, animalistic side of humans that is repressed during everyday life.

In a post-show QandA, Vilaro explained that each piece in Ballet Hispanico’s repertoire is intended to answer two vital questions — “What is Latino culture? And what is Latino dance?”

The answers to these questions are undoubtedly different for each individual audience member. And while Ballet Hispanico offers no concrete answers, the company’s vivid, evocative choreography might be able to offer some suggestions.

Ballet Hispanico runs through April 26 at the Joyce Theater.

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