Ballet Hispanico’s first Artistic Director, Tina Ramirez, began as a dance instructor, teaching inner-city children throughout the 1960s. In recognition of these efforts, the New York State Arts Council subsequently awarded her a grant in 1970 to found a dance company comprised of young people. Thus began the first incarnation of Ballet Hispanico. Though its performers are no longer quite so young nor the works quite so traditional, Ballet Hispanico maintains a firm grasp on its cultural roots, spotlighting Hispanic artists, dancers, and composers under the dynamic leadership of Eduardo Vilaro. Not surprisingly, extensive educational and community programs remain integral to this organization.
Ballet Hispanico Information
- Venues: Ballet Hispanico tours extensively and also performs an annual season in the fall at the Joyce Theater (175 8th Avenue)
- Public Transportation: Very good (the Joyce: subway lines A, C, and E at 14th Street; L train at Eighth Avenue; 1 train at 18th Street/7th Avenue; and buses M11, M14, and M20); other venues vary
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good (the Joyce); other venues vary
- Performances/Programs: The company performs several different programs each year consisting of selections from the six or so pieces in the current repertory. They generally perform for one-three days in each location
- Ticket Prices: Tickets are typically $25–$50. See individual venues
- Membership: Basic donor fees start at $50. Benefits include advance notice of Ballet Hispanico’s New York season and other special events
- Educational/Community Outreach: Like most dance companies, Ballet Hispanico runs its share of educational and recreational programs for local youth. Unlike most dance companies, however, youth programs are actually the root of this organization and, in fact, predate the performing ensemble we know today. The company’s work reaches students of all ages in the form of master classes, workshops, specialized performances, and even Latin social dance classes.