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Ballet Hispánico is an American dance company based in Manhattan, New York. It was founded by the Puerto Rican/Mexican-American dancer and choreographer Tina Ramirez in 1970 and presents dances reflecting the experience of Hispanic and Latino Americans. It describes itself as "the foremost dance representative of Hispanic culture in the United States."
The company has performed for more than two million people in the United States, Europe, and South America, and has a repertoire of over 75 works. The company has commissioned nearly 80 works and acquired 11 others, working with 45 choreographers from around the world.
Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispánico in 1970. Ms. Ramirez, daughter of a Mexican bullfighter and grand-niece of a Puerto Rican educator, enjoyed a long professional dance career before establishing the organization. Its New York City headquarters include six dance studios.
In August 2009, Ballet Hispánico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its Artistic Director. A former member of the Ballet Hispánico Company, Vilaro founded and led Chicago’s Luna Negra Dance Theater for ten years.
Ramirez' vision for the Ballet Hispánico Company gave contemporary Hispanic culture its place in American dance, much as Alvin Ailey did for the Black community. During her 39 years as Artistic Director, she invited 50 choreographers from diverse backgrounds to provide a modern-day interpretation of Spanish-speaking cultures, drawing on the versatility of her dancers in ballet, modern dance, jazz, ethnic and other dance techniques. World-renowned artists responded to her vision, including ballet artists as Vicente Nebrada and Alberto Alonso; Talley Beatty and Anna Sokolow from modern dance; Paco Fernandez and Jose Coronado from ethnic dance; and Graciela Daniele and Ann Reinking from Broadway. "More than most artistic directors, she has consistently given exposure to fresh talent," nurturing artists early in their careers, including William Whitener, now Artistic Director of Kansas City Ballet; MacArthur Award-Winner Susan Marshall; Ramon Oller, head of Spain's Metros Danza; and Pedro Ruiz, then a member of the Company, now an independent choreographer.
School of Dance
The School of Dance offers a curriculum including flamenco and classic Spanish dance as well as ballet and contemporary techniques. The School offers pre-professional training, a general program, and classes for pre-schoolers and adults.
Community Arts Partnerships
In 1983, Ballet Hispánico purchased two carriage houses adjacent to the former Claremont Riding Academy building on West 89th Street listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structures were built to designs by architect Frank A. Rooke in 1892. With architects Buck/Cane, Ballet Hispánico converted the two carriage houses into the company's headquarters in 1989. A subsequent expansion in 2006 doubled the capacity of the organization's facilities.
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