The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech’s first dance performance of its inaugural season is by an innovative company that fuses Latin dance with classical and contemporary techniques. 

Ballet Hispanico will present “Sortijas, Jardi Tancat, and Danzón,” Thursday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m.

The performance will take place in the newly named Moss Arts Center, located at 190 Alumni Mall, on the stage of the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre in the Street and Davis Performance Hall. 

Offering a new style of performance fueled by theatricality and passion, Ballet Hispanico brings a diverse repertory by leading choreographers. “Sortijas” (Rings), by choreographer Cayetano Soto, celebrates Latino tradition through the circular ties of family and friends that link communities across generations. Choreographer Nacho Duato’s “Jardi Tancat” (Enclosed Garden) evokes the despairing, yet hopeful prayer of Spaniards who wait for rain on their barren land.

The company's newest work, “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead), celebrates Mexican culture and is inspired by the beloved Mexican celebration Día de los Muertos. “Danzón” is by choreographer and company artistic director Eduardo Vilaro. Initially evolved from Haitian contradance, the Danzón has been called the official dance of Cuba. Vilaro has taken this traditional dance form and reinvented it with contemporary language to construct a joyous celebration of music and movement.

Vilaro will take part in a conversation with the audience immediately following the performance. Vilaro has been part of Ballet Hispanico since 1985 and became artistic director in 2009. He is only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. Vilaro is an accomplished choreographer, having created more than 20 ballets for Luna Negra and others, such as the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Lexington Ballet, and the Civic Ballet of Chicago. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the spiritual, sensual, and historical essence of the Latino cultures.

Before the performance, the Virginia Tech student group Salsa Tech will be doing demonstrations and providing Salsa instruction in the center’s lobby.

As part of the center’s engagement activities, Ballet Hispanico will also present a special matinee performance for area high school students on Nov. 7. Moderated by Vilaro, the program will feature performance and interaction, including a special question and answer session.

The presentation of Ballet Hispanico was made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project. Major support for the Arts' National Dance Project is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program is also supported by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets

Tickets are $20-$30 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Center for the Arts’ box office, 12 to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.

Launched in 2005 as an arts initiative, Virginia Tech Arts encompasses all efforts within departments and colleges and at the university level to expand creative practice and support interdisciplinary learning, engagement, and discovery through the arts. The cornerstone project of Virginia Tech Arts is the Moss Arts Center, which houses the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech professional presenting program; the university-level Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and television and lab spaces for the Department of Communication.