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  • Writer's picturePenny Neef

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Ballet Hispánico

Words by Penny Neef. Images courtesy of the Virginia Arts Festival.

Virginia Arts Festival is offering a way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year without overindulging in margaritas and melted cheese. Let’s call it a classy alternative, a cultural alternative, a way to learn more about the “music, the myths and traditions” of Spanish-speaking countries.

Ballet Hispánico will perform at Sandler Center for Performing Arts in Virginia Beach on Cinco de Mayo, Friday, May 5 at 7:30 pm.

Ballet Hispánico began in 1970 in New York City. Tina Ramirez, daughter of a Mexican bullfighter and a Puerto Rican activist, was born in Venezuela. She came to New York as a young girl. Ramirez trained in ballet, modern and ethnic dance, which was a unique combination at the time. She formed Ballet Hispánico to promote Hispanic culture through dance, much like Alvin Ailey was doing for the Black community. She also created the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, which has trained thousands of students in a “singular” style, combining ballet, modern and Hispanic folk dance.

Ballet Hispánico is the premiere Hispanic dance company in the United States. They have toured the world, and they will be right here in Hampton Roads on Cinco de Mayo. Feel free to indulge in a margarita (or two) before or after this espectaculo de danza. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Virginia Arts Festival this Friday, May 5. I’ll see you there.


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