Skip to main content

Ballet Hispánico Returns to the Weis Center on Feb. 6; Dance Company called “smashingly theatrical” by Chicago Sun Times

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will welcome back NYC-based contemporary dance powerhouse Ballet Hispánico on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center.

There will be a free pre-performance talk from 6:45-7:15 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium. The talk will feature Johan Rivera, Artistic Associate & Rehearsal Director.

The performance is sponsored, in part, by Service 1st Federal Credit Union.  

Ballet Hispánico is the largest Latine/Latinx/Hispanic cultural organization in the U.S. and one of America’s Cultural Treasures.

At the Weis Center, they will present a mixed repertoire program, designed to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages: Línea Recta by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, ¡Si Señor! ¡Es Mi Son! (excerpt) by Alberto Alonso, Danse Creole (excerpt) by Geoffrey Holder, Buscando a Juan (excerpt) by Eduardo Vilaro, and 18+1 by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano.

Press Quotes
“both earthy and classically elegant” – The New York Times

“When Ballet Hispanico’s dancers take the stage, watch out. No one struts, kicks, spins, leaps and gyrates the way they do. Their joy is infectious.” – New York Newsday

“Ballet Hispánico delivers spirited fun.” – The Boston Globe

Ballet Hispánico’s three main programs — the Company, School of Dance and Community Arts Partnerships — bring communities together to celebrate the multifaceted Latinx diasporas. Ballet Hispánico’s New York City headquarters provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latine dance in the U.S. It is a space that initiates new cultural conversations and explores the intersectionality of Latine cultures. No matter their background or identity — Latine, Latinx, Hispanic — Ballet Hispánico welcomes and serves all, breaking stereotypes and celebrating the beauty and diversity of Hispanic cultures through dance.

Dance visionary and National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispánico in 1970, at the height of the post-war civil rights movements. From its inception Ballet Hispánico focused on providing a haven for Black and Brown families seeking place and artistic sanctuary. By creating the space for Latine dance and dancers to flourish, Ballet Hispánico uplifted marginalized artists and youth, which combined with the training, cultural pride, and the power of representation, fueled the organization’s roots and trajectory. Eduardo Vilaro joined Ballet Hispánico as a Company dancer in 1985 and became the organization’s second Artistic Director in 2009 and CEO in 2015. Vilaro is building on Ramirez’s impact; expanding, and deepening the legacy of visibilizing Latine cultures, and exposing the intersectionality and depth of diversity found in them. 

Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement, Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies Latinx voices in the field. For over fifty years Ballet Hispánico has provided a place of honor for the omitted, overlooked, and othered. As it looks to the future, Ballet Hispánico is pushing the culture forward on issues of dance and Hispanic creative expression.

About Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO
Eduardo Vilaro joined Ballet Hispánico as Artistic Director in August 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. In 2015, Mr. Vilaro took on the additional role of Chief Executive Officer of Ballet Hispánico. He has been part of the Ballet Hispánico family since 1985 as a 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 Hispánico’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. Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the spiritual, sensual, and historical essence of Latino cultures. He created over 20 ballets for Luna Negra and has received commissions from the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet, and the Chicago Symphony. In 2001, he was a recipient of a Ruth Page Award for choreography, and in 2003, he was honored for his choreographic work at Panama’s II International Festival of Ballet.  

Mr. Vilaro was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2016 and was awarded HOMBRE Magazine’s 2017 Arts & Culture Trailblazer of the Year. In 2019, Mr. Vilaro was the recipient of the West Side Spirit’s WESTY Award, was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts, and most recently, was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award. In 2022 and 2023, Mr. Vilaro was included in Crain’s New York lists of Notable Hispanic Leaders and Notable LGBTQ Leaders; and was acknowledged as one of Forbes’ Kings of Culture, Legends of Business.  

About the Dance Works
Línea Recta
From award-winning choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa comes Línea Recta, a powerful and resonant work that explores the absence of physical partnering in flamenco dance. While maintaining the genre’s hallmark passion, Lopez Ochoa’s piece offers an original and explosive movement language performed to Eric Vaarzon Morel’s flamenco guitar.

¡Si Señor! ¡Es Mi Son! (excerpt)
Choreographer Alberto Alonso brings the spirit of Cuba to life. Elaborately costumed dancers make their way across the stage in a carnival style procession eventually breaking off in pairs, their movement intertwined with the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Gloria Estefan’s music from her album, Mi Tierra.

Danse Creole (excerpt)
Inspired by the pulsing Caribbean rhythms of Trinidad, Geoffrey Holder’s Danse Creole explores the influence of European, West African, and Indigenous cultures combined with long, balletic lines. In blending the cultures that developed throughout the country’s history, Holder pays homage to his homeland’s folklore in this lively work. 

Buscando a Juan (excerpt)
Inspired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Juan de Pareja: Afro-Hispanic Painter exhibition and showcasing Eduardo Vilaro’s unique choreographic talents, Buscando a Juan explores the mix of cultures and diasporas through the exoticized body and fixation on gesture and sensuality. 

18+1 (excerpt)
Celebrating Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s tenure as a choreographer, this vulnerable and joyous piece demonstrates the care and hope that comes within each artistic endeavor. In a display of subtle humor and eclectic choreography, the movement merges with the playful rhythms found in Pérez Prado’s mambo music. 

Tickets are $30 for adults, $24 for seniors 62+ and subscribers, $20 for youth 18 and under, $20 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), free for Bucknell students (limit 1) and $20 for non-Bucknell students (limit 2).

Special rate for youth: Students of local dance studios may purchase tickets for just $10! Use code LATINX online at after selecting seats.

Tickets can be reserved by calling 570-577-1000 or online at

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Comments are closed.