Without a doubt, 2016 has been a trying year, and this past week especially reminds me of the importance of the work we do to support voices of color and gender in our curation. Long-term relationships with artists have been a hallmark of this company since Tina Ramirez’s founding. It continues to be an important value as we still struggle for recognition, equity, and visibility.
In order to change the cultural and critical lens, it is crucial to focus on those choreographers creating works that reshape, reverse, and at times, replay the essence of our culture. Artists such as Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, who has developed into a much sought-after choreographer in both the ballet and contemporary worlds of dance, or Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, another prodigious choreographer who continues to astound audiences with his masterful humor and humanity, are among that group.
“It is crucial to focus on those choreographers creating works that reshape, reverse, and at times, replay the essence of our culture.”
I have known and worked with these fine artists for over a decade and am honored to continue bringing their voices–different voices–to our audiences. This weekend, please join us at the Apollo Theater in coming together in the name of art, and unity.
Artistic Director & CEO
Ballet Hispanico is undoubtedly a fan of choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. For its New York season at The Joyce Theater, the Company will be performing three of her works: Locked Up Laura (2008) Mad’moiselle (2010) and Nube Blanco (New York premiere).
Everyone was thrilled to have Annabelle back in the studios recently! Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro had this to say:
“Annabelle is an inspiring artist. I am thrilled that she is back in the studio with the dancers as she has such a positive influence on their artistry. Her process allows the dancers to find themselves within the movement and intention while raising their performance potential. Her work, Nube Blanco, is a perfect blend of humor and contemporary investigation and I feel fortunate to have her be part of the new artistic aesthetic we are building at Ballet Hispanico.”
We recently caught up with Annabelle and asked her a few questions about her vision as a choreographer.
BH: This is Nube Blanco’s NYC premiere and the first time it is being performed by Ballet Hispanico. How, if at all, are you adapting the piece? How do the distinct flavors of the Ballet Hispanico dancers affect your choreography?
Annabelle: More than the Ballet Hispanico dancers, what influences me to change small things in Nube is what I have learned from life and arts in the past three years. This gives me another perspective on the piece.
BH: You originally composed Locked Up Laura in 2008 and Mad’moiselle in 2010. Does your perspective on the pieces change as time passes? Do they mean different things to you now?
Annabelle: I’m very clear on Locked Up Laura and I’ve been working with the dancers on what it originally was about when I created it. Likewise with Nube Blanco; we worked especially on my original intentions. Those are the same to me as they were three years ago. What I mostly tweaked was the rhythm of the piece. Unfortunately, for Mad’moiselle I only get one rehearsal with the dancers!
BH: What are you most looking forward to about working with Ballet Hispanico for the Joyce season?
Annabelle: Well, Nube Blanco is a revival so it’s always exciting to revisit a piece and to present it for the first time to New York City!
BH: Finally, what other exciting projects do you have coming up?
Annabelle: I start next week with my first narrative full-length ballet for Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire. Very excited about that, indeed!
Photos: Eduardo Patino, NYC