by Nina Reynolds
After a weekend of moving and grooving to the amazingly talented musical groups featured at the Madison World Music Festival, I am more ready than ever to be swept away by the lively Latin beats and choreography that Ballet Hispanico will bring to the stage on Saturday night. Under the artistic direction of Eduardo Vilaro, the company's unique fusion of ballet, modern, and Latin-influenced dance brings these styles together in an energetic performance that is bound to have you bopping in the theater seats. If you're anything like me, you'll be swinging your hips to that infectious Latin music, which will be stuck in your head long after you've left the theater.
And do let them swing! As if the performance isn't exciting enough, on Friday night Ballet Hispanico will be sharing their passion and talent for dance with you in an intimate and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Set on the very same stage on which they will be performing, Eduardo, Michelle (Ballet Hispanico's rehearsal director), and two company members will be teaching a free salsa class to anyone who wants to come.
In my 17 years of dancing, I have rarely come across an opportunity like this for dance-loving audience members. A free dance class...taught by a world-renowned artistic director and members of his famous company...on the stage that they will be performing on the next night...under the same lights and with the same sound system....in a casual and personal setting?! Please excuse the run-on sentence, but sign me up!
Oh wait, I'll be there. Dancing in my favorite blue skirt. And you should come too! Better yet, after the class there will be an hour of open dance for those of you who would like to stay and practice, or put your own swing (pardon the pun) on things you will have just learned. So come with a group of friends, your sister, a date, or alone (you never know who you'll meet at these things). This event is for everyone. Don't miss this awesome chance to interact with and learn from the greats of Ballet Hispanico!