Ballet Hispánico to Hold Holiday Benefit Celebration of "Club Havana" in December

Ballet Hispánico's signature work Club Havana is a celebration of Cuban music and dance with the Afro-Cuban legacies of the cong
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Photo: Michelle Tabnick

Ballet Hispánico, the nation's renowned Latinx dance organization recognized this year as one of America's Cultural Treasures, invites audiences to the Ballet Hispánico Holiday Celebration of Club Havana on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at 7:30pm, available on YouTube and Facebook.

Ballet Hispánico's signature work Club Havana is a celebration of Cuban music and dance with the Afro-Cuban legacies of the conga, rumba, mambo, and cha cha rhythms. The work is the centerpiece of Ballet Hispanico's fundraiser "BUnidos Our Artists Our Future." Hosted by Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, the evening is a celebration of the many artists who have made this work a staple of Ballet Hispánico's repertory.

The evening includes conversations with dancers who have participated in performances of the work since its premiere in 2000 and choreographer Pedro Ruiz, who had a twenty-year tenure as a Ballet Hispánico dancer. Memorable video clips will add a bit of holiday spice to the show, which culminates in a screening of a spectacular recent performance.

"Divinely elegant." - Dance Magazine

"Club Havana is a silky, sexy joy." - The New York Times

"BUnidos Our Artists Our Future," a new artist-focused campaign running through January 6, 2021 (Three Kings Day), features a robust collection of videos, including insights into the lives of the dancers, inspirational messages from Company members, free live online classes, and Instagram takeovers.

"While our Ballet Hispánico dancers' love for their art remains steadfast, the opportunities for them to rehearse and perform has been dramatically put on pause," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. "Now more than ever, finding ways to support them creatively and financially is paramount.

BUnidos Our Artists Our Future not only provides our dancers with a platform to continue to showcase their voices and their artistry, it also offers much needed financial relief as we all navigate the uncertainty of this global pandemic."

"BUnidos Our Artists Our Future" is created by Ballet Hispánico and with Company dancers Chris Bloom, Jared Bogart, Leonardo Brito, Simone Cameresi, Antonio Cangiano, Shelby Colona, Paulo Hernandez-Farella, Laura Lopez, Omar Rivéra, Gabrielle Sprauve, Dandara Veiga, Melissa Verdecia, Lyvan Verdecia, and Lenai Alexis Wilkerson.

Audiences are able to donate at Our Artists Our Future or by texting "Artists" to 91999 to donate.

When America's theaters went dark earlier this year, the performing arts industry was decimated. While the day of return is uncertain, audience support can help raise the curtain. In celebration of 50 years of Ballet Hispánico, the Company dancers ask you to join them in raising $50,000 to directly support Ballet Hispánico's artists.

Empowered for today. Responsible for tomorrow. United for our Artists. BUnidos, our Artists, our Future.

#BUnidos

#BUnidos began as a daily video series to combat the loss of performances and community programming due to COVID-19. As social distancing continues, we continue to provide content through our social media platforms as a way to instill a sense of community within our BH familia and offer ways to explore dance and Latino cultures online. #BUnidos! Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing.

"As a community of dancers, artists, and human beings, we are all in this together. We will persevere through this challenging time, and we hope that this programming provides a coping outlet, for you, for our followers and the community overall," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. "Now more than ever, it is important to band together in support of the arts. The personal and professional challenges that we have already endured and will continue to face over the next few weeks or months are significant. What we can take from this time of cancellations, uncertainty and social distancing is a chance to use our creativity to connect with the community on a new level. Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing. Ballet Hispánico was founded upon and has always believed in the importance of reaching and servicing our community through dance and culture. As this pandemic occurs during our 50th Anniversary, it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, get back to our roots by reaching out to community near and far, and look forward to what is ahead."

Club Havana (2000)

Choreography by Pedro Ruiz; Music by Israel Lopez, Rubén Gonzales, A.K. Salim, Perez Prado and Francisco Repilado; Costumes Design by Emilio Sosa (and Ghabriello Fernando in 2015); and Lighting Design by Donald Holder.

The original Club Havana production was made possible, in part, by gifts from Jody and John Arnhold, Dhuanne and Douglas Tansill and Caroline Newhouse; by grants from American Express Company and AT&T; and with commissioning funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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