Ballet Hispanico celebrates Latin culture

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Inspired and energetic pieces are at the heart of Ballet Hispanico’s Augusta performance on March 16.

The Ballet Hispanico performance is being brought to Imperial Theatre on March 16 by the Augusta Ballet.  EDUARDO PATINO/SPECIAL
EDUARDO PATINO/SPECIAL
The Ballet Hispanico performance is being brought to Imperial Theatre on March 16 by the Augusta Ballet.

“This is a glorious celebration of Latin culture through dance,” said Eduardo Vilaro, Ballet Hispanico’s artistic director.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. at Imperial Theatre. Tickets are $10 to $75 from www.augustaballet.org or (706) 261-0555.

Two of the works to be performed are new. Asuko pays homage to the late Celia Cruz, a Grammy-nominated artist known as Cuba’s Queen of Salsa.

“She was a beloved performer,” said Vilaro, who moved to the U.S. from his native Cuba at the age of 6.

The title of the piece, Asuko, is a play on the word “azúcar’ or sugar in Spanish. It was Cruz’s catch word.

Choreographed by Ron K. Brown, a black artist, Espiritu Vivo explores the fusion of African and Latin music as seen in Caribbean nations.

The dance has a narrative of “pain, prayer and spring,” Vilaro said.

And the final piece, Club Havana, showcases Cuba in the 1950s with “gorgeous” colorful costumes and rich Latin rhythms.

Vilaro said he believes this is Ballet Hispanico’s Augusta debut, and he’s looking forward to it especially because his mother, who lives in Brunswick, Ga., will make the drive to view the performance.

The Augusta Ballet is the host organization for Ballet Hispanico’s visit, and officials said they are pleased to be able to bring the group to the area.

“The Augusta Ballet works all year to provide quality performances over quantity, and Ballet Hispanico is at the top of their genre. They are the world’s leading voice in Latin American dance,” said Jennifer Franks, executive director of the Augusta Ballet.

Based in New York City, Ballet Hispanico was founded by Tina Ramirez in 1970. The company features 13 dancers and travels year-round.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: Ballet Hispanico

WHEN: 8 p.m. March 16

WHERE: Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St.

DETAILS: $10-$75; (706) 261-0555, www.augustaballet.org


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