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Ballet Hispánico presents Free In-Person Dance Concerts with Young Dancemakers Company

Jul 21 Through Jul 31 | Wed |
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Ballet Hispánico, the nation's renowned Latinx dance organization recognized as one of America's Cultural Treasures, presents a series of FREE in-person dance concerts with the Young Dancemakers Company, July 21, 23, 27, 28, 31, 2021, at various New York borough locations. Reservations are required for the livestream finale concert. To reserve tickets, email youngdancemakers@gmail.com. All performances are FREE and open to the public.

Each one-hour concert will be followed by lively dance-making with the audience, led by the company, plus post-concert Q&A.

Wednesday July 21 @ 4PM The Plaza at 300 Ashland 300 Ashland Place at the corner of Lafayette Ave & Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Co-Presented by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Programming at The Plaza at 300 Ashland is made possible by support from Two Trees Management Co.

Friday, July 23 @ 6PM Culture Lab LIC 5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101

Tuesday, July 27 @ 1PM Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance 2474 Westchester Ave, Bronx, NY 10461

Wednesday July 28 @ 2:30PM DANCE THE ART @ 3PM STAGE PERFORMANCE Socrates Sculpture Park 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11106

Saturday July 31 @ 4PM Livestream Finale Concert by CultureHub Space Shares at La MaMa makes theatre spaces available to artists for non-curated productions

Young Dancemakers Company – a performing ensemble of NYC teens – will perform a free concert of their unique, original choreography based on meaningful personal and social themes. The group dances to both live and recorded music, made in collaboration with professional composers. They will perform their latest works and an excerpt of Ann Reinking's Ritmo y Ruido being set by Ballet Hispánico artists, including Natalia Alonzo, who was part of the Company when Reinking originally set the piece in 1997, continuing the tradition of dance being passed from one generation to the next. 

Current company dancers Antonio Cangiano and Omar Rivera along with former company soloist Natalia Alonso comprise the team preparing the Young Dancemakers Company for the performances, setting the piece, and guiding them once on tour. The young company will also participate in the 2021 Guest Repertory Project, which provides coaching and performance advice from experts in the field, including Ballet Hispánico Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro. 

Antonio Cangiano (Dancer) was born in Naples, Italy. He began his dance training at age sixteen and was awarded scholarships from Ateneo Danza (Forli), Accademia Normanna (Naples), and the Martha Graham Dance School in New York City. Cangiano has danced for the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Dardo Galletto Dance, Acsi Ballet, and Graham 2. In 2014, he made his first appearance at the Italian International Dance Festival dancing in a homage to Luigi, the "master of jazz," by Dianna Folio, and received the Festival's Rising Star Award in 2017. In 2016, he was selected to dance at the Martha Graham Dance Company's 90th Anniversary Season at New York City Center. This is Antonio's third season with Ballet Hispánico. 

Omar Rivéra (Dancer) is originally from Los Angeles, CA. After moving to Dallas, Texas, Rivéra trained at Prodigy Dance & Performing Arts Centre under the direction of Camille Billelo. He graduated from the prestigious Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, and was a part of HSPVA's dance ensembles Repertoire Dance Company I & II, where he performed a variety of works by choreographers such as Robert Battle and Desmond Richardson. Rivéra was a scholarship student at the University of Arizona-School of Dance and graduated with a BFA in Dance in 2018. Rivéra was one of eight men selected to perform at The Joyce Theater for the José Limón International Dance Festival, and danced works by guest artists including Christopher Wheeldon's The American, Darrell Grand Moultrie's Boiling Point, and Bella Lewitzky's Meta4, among others. This is Omar's third season with Ballet Hispánico.

About the Young Dancemakers Company Young Dancemakers Company auditions young artists from NY Public High Schools to participate in their program throughout the summer. The students have the opportunity to create their own choreography, collaborate with musicians, set it up their own work on the group and eventually tour it/ perform it in different outdoor venues around the City. The Company presents free concerts of their unique, original choreography based on meaningful personal and social themes. The group dances to both live and recorded music, made in collaboration with professional composers. Since 1996, teen dancers from NYC's public high schools are given an opportunity to join Young Dancemakers Company for a tuition-free dance and choreography training program, designed to nurture their passions and unique voices, develop their skills through workshops with the city's leading choreographers and teachers, and provide them with an opportunity to present their own work to audiences across NYC. The five-week intensive program comes to a culmination with five fully produced outdoor performances plus a livestream finale concert by CultureHub. Each program includes ten short original works choreographed by the young artists and performed by the company, as well as the chosen repertory piece. The emerging choreographers propose a dance with a theme that is meaningful to them and create an original work based on that theme. Each choreographer collaborates with the YDC costume designer and a professional composer to develop a piece that is completely original.

"We believe that teenagers have a lot to say and can say it through dance," says Founding Director Alice Teirstein. "Young Dancemakers Company is an outlet for teens to speak their minds through dance." YDC Artistic Director Jessica Gaynor adds, "What makes our program distinct is its inclusivity. We welcome advanced dance students as well as bold newcomers who have the desire to create original work based on topics that resonate with them."

"YDC was a formative point in my visioning what the creative field and performance could be as a young performer and maker," says the Bessie-nominated choreographer Jonathan González, a YDC alum and member of the YDC Advisory Council. "Completely new to formal training at that time, I am now grateful to have been immersed in this open setting which initiated many of my seminal questions in choreographic research," he further explains.

Over the years, YDC's performances have been presented in NYC at such prestigious venues as Ailey Citigroup Theater, the 92nd Street Y, Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, the Joyce SoHo, Brooklyn Museum, Abrons Arts Center, Symphony Space and many others. The company has been presented twice by the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, and had the honor to perform in Washington, DC as part of the 2000 International Conference "Dancing in the Millenium," held by the National Dance Educators Organization at the Kennedy Center. YDC performances have been featured on NY1 and PBS' Channel 13, as well as covered by The New York Times, The Daily News, and Dance Teacher Magazine.

The 2021 faculty includes the Artistic Director of YDC Jessica Gaynor (choreographer); YDC Founding Director Alice Teirstein (2012 Bessie Award winner for Service to the Field of Dance); YDC Music Director and acclaimed composer William Catanzaro; YDC Associate Program Manager and alum Jenée Ivi Whitehead; Costume Designer Wendy Phillips Kahn; 2021 Guest Repertory Artist Ballet Hispánico (BH teaching artists include Natalia Alonso, Antonia Cangiano, Omar Rivera, with coaching by Eduardo Vilaro); 2021 Contactless Partnering Dance Workshop Leaders Bridgman|Packer Dance; Choreography Workshop with NYC-based dance choreographer Jamal Jackson; a workshop on multi-camera dance video production with CultureHub; finale concert Lighting Designer Andy Dickerson; Photographer and YDC alum Alice Chacon; Creative Arts Consultant Eva Young; and composers Sidney Marquez Boquiren; Kathryn Carlsen; Matt Evans; Kevin Farrell; David Finkelstein; Evan Joseph; Joe Kye; Adriana Norat and Victor See Yuen who will be collaborating one-on-one with the choreographers as part of the special YDC Choreographer/Composer Project. 

The 2021 season company members are Mishayla Carcana, Pharana Cineas, Ava Davis, Nevaeh Davis, Gianette Dominguez, Krystal Henry, Afsana Jim, Shania Jones, Rachael Kelly, Harlyn Lopera , Zarina Medwinter and Annia Nelson. They are students from Wadleigh Secondary High School for the Performing & Visual Arts; Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts, John Adams High School, Talented Unlimited High School, Brooklyn School for Music and Theatre, Humanities and the Arts High School, University Neighborhood High School and Brooklyn International High School.

YDC 2021 FUNDERS Young Dancemakers Company is generously supported by Jody and John Arnhold | Arnold Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation, the Richenthal Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and individual contributors.

About Downtown Brooklyn Partnership Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is a not-for-profit local development corporation that serves as the primary champion for Downtown Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential, and retail destination. Working together with the three business improvement districts (BID) that it manages – the MetroTech BID, Fulton Mall Improvement Association, and Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID – the Partnership's diverse activities include attracting new businesses and improving the environment for existing companies; facilitating the construction of public spaces and streetscapes that promote an active and cohesive community; supporting and promoting Downtown Brooklyn's cultural assets; and encouraging a unified sense of place and an engaged civic community. For more information, visit www.downtownbrooklyn.com.

About the Plaza at 300 Ashland The Plaza at 300 Ashland sits at the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District, adjacent to the brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, and Park Slope. DBP has partnered with premier Brooklyn arts organizations such as BAM, BRIC, Brooklyn Public Library, Mark Morris Dance Group, MoCADA, 651 Arts, and Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) to offer free, high-quality programming for everyone. Programming at The Plaza at 300 Ashland is made possible by support from Two Trees Management Co.

About Ballet Hispánico For fifty years Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy and is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States and one of America's Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences. 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 Latinx youth and families seeking artistic place and cultural sanctuary. By providing the space for Latinx dance and dancers to flourish, Ballet Hispánico uplifted marginalized emerging and working artists, which combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization's roots and trajectory. In 2009, Ballet Hispánico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its Artistic Director, ushering in a new era by inserting fresh energy to the company's founding values and leading Ballet Hispánico into an artistically vibrant future. Today, Ballet Hispánico's New York City headquarters house a School of Dance and state-of-the-art dance studios for its programs and the arts community. From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe, for fifty years Ballet Hispánico has stood as a catalyst for social change. Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latinx dance in the United States. Ballet Hispánico has developed a robust public presence across its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement efforts Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies underrepresented voices in the field. For fifty years Ballet Hispánico has provided a place of honor for the omitted, overlooked, and oppressed. As it looks to the next fifty years and beyond, Ballet Hispánico seeks to empower, and give agency to, the Latinx experience and those individuals within it.

About Eduardo Vilaro Eduardo Vilaro is the Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. He was named Ballet Hispánico's Artistic Director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico's legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America's changing cultural landscape. Mr. Vilaro's philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community. He considers dance to be a liberating, non-verbal language through which students, dancers, and audiences of all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity, and the meaning of community. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, Mr. Vilaro's own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectionality with other diasporas. His works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets with commissions that include the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony. A Ballet Hispánico dancer and educator from 1988 to 1996, he left New York, earned a master's in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago and then embarked on his own act of advocacy with a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Mr. Vilaro received the Ruth Page Award for choreography in 2001; 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, he received the West Side Spirit's WESTY Award, was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts, and was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award. In August 2020, City & State Magazine included Mr. Vilaro in the inaugural Power of Diversity: Latin 100 list. In January 2021, Mr. Vilaro was recognized with a Compassionate Leaders Award, given to leaders who are courageous, contemplative, collaborative, and care about the world they will leave behind. He is a well-respected speaker on such topics as diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts, as well as on the merits of the intersectionality of cultures and the importance of nurturing and building Latinx leaders.

Venue: Various Locations

300 Ashland Place Map
646-765-4773