Premier Latino dance company in the United States coming to CSB

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September 19, 2019

By Connor Kockler '22


Prepare yourself for the passion and flair of Latin dancing as a world-famous dance company will be coming to the College of Saint Benedict to present it in stunning form.

Ballet Hispánico is the premier Latino dance company in the United States, and will be performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center on the CSB campus as part of the Fine Arts Series at CSB and Saint John’s University.

In addition to its performance, Ballet Hispánico will be participating in a week-long residency in Central Minnesota.

The group was founded in 1970 in New York City by Tina Ramirez, who was recognized with a National Medal of Arts in for her contributions to the field of dance. The company was created in the spirit of developing Hispanic dancing and bringing it to audiences everywhere, including such venues as the Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theater in New York City; the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium; and a recently completed tour through Israel.

Since their formation, the group has performed for over 2 million people in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia.

The creative choreography, stunning dancers and elaborate costumes make their shows come alive with dazzling movement and color, wowing audiences with their passion and style.

“The Manhattan company – committed to exploring the Latino experience through movement - is flourishing. It has a small group of dancers from multinational backgrounds, bound together by intense focus and distinctive clarity,” said the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

The program will explore iconic Mexican symbols, the circularity of the human condition and the fire of a flamenco dance. Different parts of the program reflect varying experiences and emotions all wrapped up in flawless dance presentation. All the pieces were choreographed by women, creating an added dimension of perspective and multinational representation.

“Ballet Hispánico’s range of technique, voice and character shined through the variety of its musical selections, from folkloric and flamenco to traditional ballet and rock to spoken poetry,” reported the Vail Daily (Colorado) newspaper.

The company has produced and toured dozens of productions over the decades but also serves in a community role, offering classes and other programs for developing the next generation of dancers and spreading dance to as many people as possible.

Tickets are $32 for adults, $29 for seniors, and $25 for CSB/SJU faculty and staff. Youth and students(with ID) get in for $15, and CSB/SJU student tickets are $10.

For tickets, call the Benedicta Arts Center Box Office at 320-363-5777 or order online.

Ballet Hispánico will be conducting two additional public workshops at CSB, both for persons 15 years and older.

There will be a ticketed Latin Social Dance Class and Appetizer Bar at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Escher Auditorium. Come and learn about Latin dancing and enjoy appetizers such as fruit kabobs and pork tenderloin. Tickets for this workshop $15, and are available online.

A free Master Class will also be held at the Helgeson Studio at 10 a.m. Oct. 12. This class will introduce contemporary movement vocabulary and demonstrate how Ballet Hispánico fuses Latino culture into that movement.

In addition, Ballet Hispánico will conduct six workshops on campus, area schools and organizations during its week-long residency.

This performance is sponsored in part by St. Cloud Orthopedics and Mike and Karel Helgeson.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through an Arts Touring and an Operating Support Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.