Ballet Hispánico

Bravos to Ballet Hispánico for a stunning performance last night at the Apollo Theater.

Ballet Hispánico was one of my favorite companies to present the Joyce Theater last season. Their show was not just visually stunning, but prompted me to write this blog post on Why Dance Matters.

I was so glad to see more of their work last night.

I still love every aspect of “Con Brazos Abiertos” by Michelle Manzanales. Even though the dance, music, and sounds are about Michelle’s experience growing up as Mexican American in Texas, her choreography resonated with me growing up as Taiwanese Canadian in the US. I love the emotional, powerful, uplifting spirit of the piece; the struggles of finding one’s identity as an immigrant; and seeing the protagonist grow stronger and more confident through the dance.

During the post-show chat, an audience member asked how the choreography is received in the rest of the US. Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro gave the reaction of a lawyer working for DACA youths, who saw the show in Texas. Even though she had gone into the theatre disheartened, she was so overwhelmed and so inpired by the dance, that she felt rejuvenated and found purpose in her work again.

I also enjoyed “Bury Me Standing” by Ramón Oller that reflected on the experience of Gypsies or “Roma” people living in Spain, and “Espiritu Vivo” by Roland Brown showcasing the lively music and dance of African and Latino diasporas in the Caribbean and Latin America.