Ballet Hispanico Presents All Latina Choreographers Program at the MAC May 11

  • Pictured: Ballet Hispanico in "Sombrerisimo.  Susan Bestul

    Pictured: Ballet Hispanico in "Sombrerisimo. Susan Bestul

Ann Fink
Updated 5/7/2019 3:57 PM

Ballet Hispánico, America's leading Latino dance organization will present its "All-Latina Choreographers Program" at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. This marks the first time since 2012 that the company has performed a full concert in Chicago. A free MAC chat will precede the performance at 6:30 p.m.

Led by acclaimed Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, Ballet Hispánico is infused with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America's changing cultural landscape and the contemporary Latino culture. The Chicago Sun-Times hails the Ballet Hispánico dancers as "quite simply, stellar in both their stylistic malleability and their ability to create characters…gorgeous to look at and thrilling to watch;" and Broadway World says, "Ballet Hispánico is an example of what makes our country beautiful."


Works for the MAC engagement will include the following:

"Sombrerísimo" (2013). Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Inspired by the surrealist world of Belgian painter René Magritte, famous for his paintings of men in bowler hats, "Sombrerísimo" references the iconic sombreros (hats) found throughout the world that help to represent culture. Originally choreographed for an all-male cast, "Sombrerísimo" has evolved into a work that can also be performed by an all-female or mixed-gender cast. This work was included in the "Best of 2013" by Dance Magazine and in 2015, after its appearance during the 24th International Dance Festival of La Habana, received the Villanueva Award for best international production in Cuba.

"Con Brazos Abiertos" (2017). Choreography by Michelle Manzanales

Manzanales explores, with humility, nostalgia and humor, the iconic Mexican symbols that she was reluctant to embrace as a Mexican-American child growing up in Texas. Intertwining folkloric details with a distinctly contemporary dance and set to music ranging from Julio Iglesias to rock en Español, "Con Brazos Abiertos" ("With Open Arms") is a fun and frank look at a life caught between two cultures. The New York Times says, "In many ways, Ms. Manzanales's piece, a kind of fragmented self-portrait, encapsulates the new air of exploration in the company encouraged by Mr. Vilaro: mixed, honest, heartfelt -- words that could also describe the Ballet Hispánico of today."

"3. Catorce Dieciséis" (2002). Choreography by Tania Pérez-Salas

One of the leading voices of Mexican contemporary dance, Tania Pérez-Salas draws inspiration from the number Pi to reflect on the circularity of our movement through life. With intense theatricality and breathtaking imagery and featuring music by Vivaldi and other Baroque composers, "3. Catorce Dieciséis" ("3. Fourteen Sixteen") is a joyful feast for the senses. Dance International says, "…the piece moved seamlessly through a series of scenes as through a kaleidoscope: the colors and moods shifting but ever moving forward…this piece is not meant to be fun, yet as a picture of the human condition -- keep moving or die …beautiful."

The Ballet Hispánico company dancers are a group of highly trained professionals whose repertory explores the diversity of Latino cultures and brings innovative ways of experiencing and sharing a cultural dialogue. Ballet Hispánico has been bringing individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through dance for nearly 50 years.

Ballet Hispánico comes to the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd. on the campus of College of DuPage, Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49-$59. For tickets and more information, visit or call 630.942.

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