Road Trip: Close to Home: Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico, an institution that was founded to give more opportunities to Hispanic dancers, has also established itself as a top school for anyone who wants to learn to dance while exploring the Hispanic culture.
More than 50 years later, Ballet Hispanico continues to be the place where every step has a clear purpose to lift the voices within the Hispanic community.
"Anything from the Caribbean, Latin America, Spain, Portugal even.. We tell the stories through dance and through contemporary dance. So, innovative ways of looking a dance as narrative building and also cultural connection," says Eduardo Vilaro, CEO & Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico.
Starting in October, the dance company is kicking off a tour across the country performing productions like Dona Peron, inspired by the story of one of Argentina's most powerful and controversial figures of 1940s.
Apart from a dance company, Ballet Hispanico is also a dance school offering different after school programs for kids and teens as well as adult classes.
In 1970, renowned dancer Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispanico to fill a gap in the professional dance world.
"It was all about jobs. We needed jobs, so that's why I started a dance company, so the people I was training would have a place to work," Ramirez said in an interview.
Tina Ramirez passed away earlier in September at the age of 92.
"I think she leaves such a powerful legacy. She was hungry to understand our world and how dance fits in the world and then in turn how we fit in that," Vilaro said.
Ballet Hispanico will be hosting its annual A La Calle block party on Oct. 2. On that day, West 89th Street will be renamed the Ballet Hispanico way in honor of the late Tina Ramirez.