Anticipation for the Apollo

Here at Ballet Hispanico, we returned from a restful Thanksgiving holiday eager for our upcoming performance at the Apollo Theater! After months of preparation, our performance is just days away.

No one is as excited as our Company dancers. Let’s check in with Martina Calcagno, who makes her debut at the Apollo Theater on December 1, and Lauren Alzamora about why they cannot wait to take the stage.

Martina Calcagno:

“It’s my first season with the company, and I’m excited about so many aspects. It’s going to be my first show in New York, and I’m honored that it’s in a theater as historic as the Apollo.

“I’m excited about the ballets we are going to perform because they show the diversity and the versatility of the company and our repertoire.

“The Apollo is also a great venue to perform with live music. Our show will demonstrate how two different kinds of art can meld so perfectly together and create such a magical atmosphere.”

Lauren Alzamora:

“Thinking back on last year, I recall being excited and nervous for Ballet Hispanico’s premiere at the Apollo Theater.  I didn’t know what to expect, especially with the live music component for two pieces…. And also the pressure of having Mr. Vilaro’s world premiere of Asuka, his first piece choreographed for BH.  The experience turned out to be incredibly enthralling and quite memorable.  The energy from the audience was palpable before we even opened the curtain.

“I have never worked with Paquito D’Rivera before but I am very excited to do so. I have heard such great things about him!  I think his and the other musicians’ improvisations will add a whole new dimension to Danzón.

“When there is live music, we as dancers tune in much more intently – and if something takes us by surprise (as it most certainly will) we pull together that much stronger.

“The Apollo is just around the corner! I am curious to see how people respond to their performance this year, as the program is quite different from last year. It is definitely a consolation of sorts to be able to picture the stage and the beautiful house in my mind’s eye, as I re-live last year’s shows. I hope Ballet Hispanico returns year after year to conjure up and take part in the magic of this historic theater.”

We all look forward to making magic on December 1! Find complete program and ticket information on our website here.

 

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What does it mean to perform at the Apollo?

December 1st marks Ballet Hispanico’s return to the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem. Last year’s premiere was a life-changing moment for our Company dancers, and this year will be no different.

We asked mix of dancers new and returning to the Apollo about their anticipation of the big night.

Company member Melissa Fernandez will perform on the Apollo stage for the first time this year:

“As a first season dancer with Ballet Hispanico, I’ve approached every tour and every performance with great excitement and joy. Performing at the Apollo will mark our first New York performance of this 2012-2013 season. This fact brings me even more excitement and anticipation because I have many family members who live in New Jersey and will have the opportunity to see me do what I love as a professional and support all the diverse and talented artists that make up Ballet Hispanico.

“Dancing at the historic and famous Apollo Theater will be a memorable experience in and of itself. Harlem’s Apollo Theater has been the stage where “stars are born and legends are made.” It will be an enormous honor to dance on the stage where such great artists as Duke Ellington and Bruce Springsteen have performed. As a new member of the Harlem neighborhood and community, I am looking forward to performing for the people of my community in Harlem and New York City as a whole. I firmly believe that Ballet Hispanico’s presence at the Apollo Theater is a positive and enriching artistic endeavor that will enable the continued growth of Hispanic/Latin-infused contemporary dance. I am proud and honored to be a part of it.”

Company dancer Donald Borror, now in his third season at BH, offers a different perspective on the upcoming performance at the Apollo:

“Performing at the Apollo is a big deal. It means something to everybody. You usually don’t have to explain much when you say you’re dancing at the Apollo.

Backstage, and especially in the dressing rooms, there’s an energy that is really special. You literally can feel the history oozing out of the walls. While onstage, the balconies are so enveloping, it feels like the audience is truly a part of the performance. It’s all very inspiring!

I am also thrilled to be working with Paquito D’Rivera! Paquito is just the nicest, coolest guy…which makes how incredibly talented he is even better!”

Donald Borror in A vueltas con los ochenta (c) Paula Lobo

To see Melissa and Donald in the World Premiere of A vueltas con los ochenta, click HERE for tickets to the Apollo!