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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 4:21 am | Fair 51º


Ballet Hispanico Celebrates Latino Culture Through Music and Movement

Free performances, dance classes offered in Santa Barbara County

Ballet Hispanico presented by ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara!.
Ballet Hispanico presented by ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara!. (UCSB Arts and Lectures)

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! presents Ballet Hispánico, America’s premier Latino dance organization for more than 45 years, in free performances and community outreach throughout Santa Barbara County Feb, 6–12, with support from John and Jody Arnhold.

Ballet Hispánico performs at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Isla Vista School, 6875 El Colegio Road; 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Guadalupe City Hall,  918 Obispo St.; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, in the Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Junior High, 721 E. Cota St.

Residents from throughout Santa Barbara County also are invited to join Ballet Hispánico members in free Latin social dance classes at the following times and locations:

7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at Westside Community Center, 423 W Victoria St., Santa Barbara, co-presented with the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation

7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at St. George Family Youth Center, 889 Camino Del Sur, Isla Vista, co-presented with the center

Noon Saturday, Feb. 11, at Abel Maldonado Youth Community Center, 600 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria, co-presented with Santa Maria Recreation and Parks.

Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures and the shared human experience through dance.

Founded by National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez, Ballet Hispánico has been led since 2009 by artistic director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro, who has infused the organization’s legacy with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.

Speaking on CBS, Vilaro said, “Ballet Hispánico is a fusion. It’s a fusion of ballet, contemporary dance and the Latin essences and flavors that we have in our cultures. So when you come to a Ballet Hispánico presentation, expect the unexpected.”

Ballet Hispánico’s Santa Barbara County shows open with Flabbergast, where Latin lounge meets spontaneous combustion in this quirky yet joyful piece set to the music of Juan García Esquivel, followed by Linea Recta, by Belgo-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa Linea Recta is based on flamenco and performed to an original guitar composition by Eric Vaarzon Morel.

Vilaro’s own Danzón, comes next with a joyous portrayal of the traditional dance forms of Cuba set to classic music by Paquito Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie and others. This magical program closes Club Havana, a re-imagined nightclub scene filled with the sounds, colors and ambience of Havana's golden era of  of the 1950s, choreographed by Pedro Ruiz to music by Israel López and Ruben Gonzales.

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is co-presented by the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center, Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center and UCSB Arts and Lectures, in partnership with the Isla Vista School After School Grant.

— Cathy Oliverson for UCSB Arts and Lectures.

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