NOBA Center for Dance Students to Perform in New York City
NEW ORLEANS, LA – In a rare opportunity, twelve pre-professional students ages 13-18 of NOBA’s Center for Dance will take the stage alongside the world renowned dancers of Ballet Hispánico on May 7, 2018 at the company’s annual CARNAVAL Gala at The Plaza Hotel’s Grand Ballroom in New York City. The premier Latino dance organization in the United States, Ballet Hispánico will honor Latin music superstars Emilio & Gloria Estefan, legendary fashion designer Carolina Herrera, and businessman and community activist Marcos Torres. Attended by more than 500 of New York’s most influential civic leaders, philanthropists and artists, the evening will celebrate Ballet Hispánico’s extensive engagement in communities with the appearance by NOBA’s students, who are featured along with performances by the Ballet Hispánico Company and students of the Company’s School of Dance.
The students were hand selected by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro in October 2017 to perform his work Danzon with Ballet Hispánico to open NOBA’s Main Stage Series at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Vilaro comments, “This is an incredibly unique and highly specialized program. These students are getting exposed to the kind of artists who don’t necessarily walk into just any studio. To be able to work with such renowned artists, especially tuition-free, is very special. I invited the NOBA students to join our annual fundraiser performance so that our audience witnesses the brilliance of their training and artistry. I only put the best of dance on my stage, and NOBA is the best of what a community organization can bring to our young people.”
For the students, it is an honor of a lifetime to be invited by Vilaro to represent the thousands of youth who benefit from Ballet Hispánico’s immersive dance programs around the world. This engagement marks the fourth time that NOBA students have performed in New York at the invitation of major dance companies (Complexions Contemporary Ballet in 2012 and 2014 and Parsons Dance Company in 2015). Students have also been featured at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
“NOBA is a great program because it gives you exposure to so many professionals and also prepares you for your upcoming career path, whether you’re going to be a dancer or not, by teaching you discipline, commitment and professionalism. Just getting the chance to dance in New York with Ballet Hispánico has taught me to always work hard no matter what because you never know what opportunities can come from it,” says 13-year old student Kennedy Simon.
Through the year-round Chevron Master Artist Series, the young, talented students of the Center for Dance receive unprecedented opportunities for hands-on professional training, mentorships, performance opportunities as well as health and wellness education with internationally renowned troupes, such as Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham Dance Company, San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New Zealand’s Black Grace, and many more. In 2015, Chevron was honored by Parsons Dance at their annual gala in NY for the company’s visionary support of one of the country’s leading models of youth education.
For more information about New Orleans Ballet Association programming and performances, visit www.nobadance.com.
About Ballet Hispánico
Ballet Hispánico, the premier Latino dance organization in the United States, brings individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through dance. Whether dancing on stage, in school, or in the street, Ballet Hispánico creates a space where few institutions are breaking ground. The organization’s founder, National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez, sought to give voice to the Hispanic experience and break through stereotypes. Today,Ballet Hispánico is led by Eduardo Vilaro, an acclaimed choreographer and former member of the Company, whose vision of social equity, cultural identity and quality arts education for all drives its programs. Ballet Hispánico, a role model in and for the Latino community, is inspiring creativity and social awareness in our neighborhoods and across the country by providing access to arts education.
About the Center for Dance
In 1992, the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) Center for Dance was founded with the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission as its lead partner. For over 25 years, the Center for Dance has offered high-quality, professional dance training to school-aged children. Through expanded partnerships that include schools, churches and community centers, NOBA and its collaborators have to date provided more than 40,000 tuition-free dance classes valued at $5+ million to over 20,000 youth, many of whom would not otherwise have the opportunity to study this art form. The program, which started with just 30 students at one site, has grown to now serve over 1,750 students each year at eleven sites across three parishes.
About the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA)
NOBA is the Central Gulf region’s premiere presenting, service and education organization dedicated solely to the art of dance. NOBA’s dynamic Main Stage season annually features a diverse array of world-class companies and artists. Each year NOBA provides concerts, classes, workshops and lectures to more than 30,000 area dance enthusiasts of all ages. In addition, NOBA’s nationally recognized award-winning education programs provide the youth of our community access to quality arts programs with over 5,000 free dance classes and workshops annually at ten sites throughout the Greater New Orleans area.
Editor’s Note: Digital images are available for download from Dropbox.