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Ballet Hispanico to Collaborate with Apollo Theater on Expanded New York Fall Season Programming

Ballet Hispanico to Collaborate with Apollo Theater on Expanded New York Fall Season Programming with

A World Premiere by Brazilian Native Fernando Melo,

Co-Commissioned by the Apollo and Set to Live Music

Saturday En Familia Matinee Featuring Repertory Favorites

To Inspire the Whole Family: All Tickets $15

Ballet Hispanico Performances for Young People / Apollo School Day Live Shows Celebrating Latin American Dance and Culture

2015-16 Marks Ballet Hispanico's 45th Anniversary Season

New York, NY - November 3, 2015 - Ballet Hispanico, celebrating 45 years of repertory that reflects the ever-changing diversity of Latino cultures, makes its annual holiday return to the Apollo stage with additional performances from November 20-21, 2015. The performances are sponsored by Univision Communications Inc. Led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro in his sixth season, Ballet Hispanico will present the world premiere of an evening-length work choreographed by Fernando Melo and co-commissioned by the Apollo Theater on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 8pm and Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 8pm. For the first time at the Apollo Theater, Ballet Hispanico will also present a specially-priced family matinee, Saturday en Familia, on Saturday, November 21 at 2pm. Two Ballet Hispanico Performances for Young People / Apollo School Day Live shows of mixed repertory celebrating Latin American dance and culture will be offered to schoolchildren on the morning of Friday, November 20, presented through the Education programs of Ballet Hispanico and the Apollo Theater.

Ballet Hispanico and the Apollo Theater are partnering to co-commission a world premiere by Brazilian native Fernando Melo, praised by the Chicago Tribune as possessing a "highly theatrical dance vision, tantalizing in its mild surrealism and fun to watch." His as-yet-untitled work is choreographed to a live medley of Brazilian percussive and acoustic sounds, and explores Melo's homeland-a land of soccer, samba and sensuality but also inequality and disorder-with abstract and poetic subtlety. The premiere at the Apollo will mark the first time Melo's work is presented in New York.

"I'm delighted to be partnering with the Apollo Theater to introduce New York audiences to the work of Fernando Melo, a stunningly gifted choreographic voice whose work will be an inspiring look at contemporary Brazil," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico. "The decision to enhance our season with added performances and low-cost offerings for the whole family speaks to our commitment to the cultural mecca that is the Apollo and the larger Harlem community."

"We are thrilled to have Ballet Hispanico back at the Apollo this year and to extend the relationship into even more of a partnership," said Mikki Shepard, Apollo Executive Producer. "African American and Latin American culture have long been paired in innovative ways at the Apollo, fostering new experimentation and stylistic mixing. And though music has always been at the core of the Apollo's mission, dance has also always been a vibrant part of the Theater's rich legacy. We continue to celebrate that legacy through collaborations with esteemed companies such as Ballet Hispanico."

In keeping with its mission to make the beauty of the arts and Latino culture accessible to all communities, Ballet Hispanico this year introduces Saturday en Familia at the Apollo: a 90-minute, fun-filled journey through Latin American dance and culture featuring Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro and Education Director AnaMaria Correa as co-hosts, excerpts from Ballet Hispanico's diverse repertory and a Q&A with the dancers. All tickets for Saturday en Familia are $15. Repertory for the Saturday en Familia matinee includes:

Sombrerísimo - Excerpt (2013)

Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

An absorbing exploration of identity, Sombrerísimo references the surrealist world of the Belgian painter René Magritte, famous for his paintings of men in bowler hats. This athletic work for six male dancers was commissioned by New York City Center for the 10th anniversary of the Fall for Dance Festival.

El Beso - Excerpt (2014)

Choreography by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano

Spaniard Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's first work for Ballet Hispanico is a spirited look at the nuances of a kiss set to Spanish Zarzuela music and featuring original costumes by Venezuelan fashion designer Angel Sanchez.

Club Havana - Excerpt (2000)

Choreography by Pedro Ruiz

The intoxicating rhythms of the conga, rumba, mambo, and cha cha are brought to life by choreographer Pedro Ruiz, a native of Cuba, in this re-imagined nightclub populated by virtuoso dancers.

Untitled - Excerpt (2015)

Choreography by Fernando Melo

Danced to a medley of Brazilian percussive and acoustic sounds, Rio de Janeiro native Fernando Melo's first work for Ballet Hispanico explores his homeland-a land of soccer, samba and sensuality but also inequality and disorder-with abstract and poetic subtlety.

Additional programs at the Apollo Theater will include special Ballet Hispanico Performances for Young People / Apollo School Day Live shows of mixed repertory for schoolchildren on the morning of November 20, 2015. Ballet Hispanico's Performances for Young People (PYP) are interactive 50-minute productions that delight students with a guided exploration of Latin American dance forms and music. Apollo School Day Live provides new generations of theater-goers with exciting opportunities to learn about the arts, history and culture.

Tickets are $28-$58 for evening performances and $15 for Saturday en Familia. Tickets are available online now at, by phone at (800) 745-3000, or in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office at 253 W. 125th Street, NYC. For more information, visit

Univision Communications Inc. is the lead sponsor of

Ballet Hispanico's 45th Anniversary New York Fall Season.

MetLife Foundation is the Official Tour Sponsor of Ballet Hispanico.

Ballet Hispanico's 45th Anniversary New York season is made possible by Jody and John Arnhold, the Apollo Theater, the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, with public support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and Spain Culture New York-Consulate General of Spain & Spain Arts & Culture.


Fernando Melo is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the age of 16 he was awarded a scholarship to train at the Vienna State Opera Ballet. He has been in Europe ever since, building his career as a dancer and choreographer and creating works around the world. Among the companies he has choreographed for are: Göteborgsoperans Danskompani (Sweden), where he is also currently rehearsal director; Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf (Germany), Introdans (Holland), Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz München (Germany), Luzerner Theater (Switzerland), Luna Negra Dance Theater (USA), and Norrdans (Sweden).


Celebrating 45 years of repertory that reflects the ever-changing diversity of Latino cultures, Ballet Hispanico is the new expression of American contemporary dance. Led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the Company has produced world-class, multifaceted performances that have featured master works by Nacho Duato, cutting-edge premieres by Cayetano Soto and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and live music collaborations with renowned artists such as Paquito D'Rivera and Ruben Blades-to name a notable few. Ballet Hispanico has performed for audiences totaling over 3 million, throughout 11 countries, and on 3 continents. Through the work of its professional company, school of dance, and community arts education programs, Ballet Hispanico celebrates the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic diaspora, building new avenues of cultural dialogue and sharing the joy of dance with all communities. For more information, visit Follow Ballet Hispanico on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.

EDUARDO VILARO joined Ballet Hispanico as Artistic Director in August 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. He has been part of the Ballet Hispanico family since 1985 as a principle dancer and educator, after which he began a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispanico's legacy with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America's changing cultural landscape. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, he is a frequent speaker on the merits of cultural diversity and dance education.


The legendary Apollo Theater- the soul of American culture- plays a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation, and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.

With music at its core, the Apollo's programming extends to dance, theater, performance art, spoken word initiatives, and more. Recent highlights have included James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, which will begin an international tour in 2015, the Africa Now! Festival, and Apollo Club Harlem. The Apollo is a presenting organization that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and music work. The Apollo's vision is global and includes touring and a digital media presence. The Apollo's work is organized around a set of core initiatives: Apollo Music (African American and culturally diverse artists); Signature programs (Amateur Night, Salon Series and the Apollo Music Café); Legacy Series (work that celebrates and extends our legacy in a more contemporary way); Global Festival (international and U.S. based artists presentations focused under a specific theme); Special Projects (multidisciplinary work with partner organizations).

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms, and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres - including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, Unlocking the Truth, Miri Ben Ari, D'Angelo, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo's forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.

The Apollo Theater is a not-for-profit organization and currently in the midst of fundraising for its 21st Century Apollo Campaign, created to extend the institution's role in fostering artistic innovation and in building appreciation of American culture around the world. For more information, visit

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