Founded by National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez (1929-2022) in 1970, NYC’s Ballet Hispánico, based at 167 West 89th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, has provided training, space, representation, community partnerships, and cultural unity for Latinx dance and dancers to flourish for more than 50 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro since 2009, the company – now the largest Latinx/Hispanic cultural organization in the US and named as one of America’s Cultural Treasures – houses a School of Dance and state-of-the-art dance studios for its programs and the arts community at its headquarters on the Upper West Side.
In its honor, on Thursday, October 20, the renowned organization will have the block on which it’s located designated “Ballet Hispánico Way” by District 6 New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer, in a special ceremony beginning at 11:00 am. Representing the company will be Vilaro, Honorary Chair Jody Gottfried Arnhold, and Board Chair Kate Lear.
Later this year, as part of its national tour, Ballet Hispánico, last seen at the Kennedy Center in 2013, returns from November 30-December 3, with the DC premiere of internationally renowned choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Doña Perón, set to music by Peter Salem. The 70-minute performance – the first full evening-length work commissioned by the Company – is an explosive portrait of Eva “Evita” Perón, one of the most famous and controversial women in the history of Argentina, who has been seen as both a voice for the people and a deceitful actress. The illegitimate daughter of a prosperous farmer, Evita concealed her shameful past as she rose from dancehall performer to Argentina’s First Lady and an activist and advocate for the country’s women and working class, all before her untimely death at the age of 33. Ochoa explores these diverging legacies and more in this seminal work, marking Ballet Hispánico’s mission of centering the voices of Latinx artists.
Doña Perón plays Wednesday, November 30-Saturday, December 3, 2022, at Ballet Hispánico, performing at the Eisenhower Theater, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC. For tickets (priced at $35-129), call (202) 416-8540, or go online. Masks are optional.