Now Available for On-Demand Screening In Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
Ballet Hispánico, the nation’s largest Latinx cultural organization and one of America’s Cultural Treasures, announces the release of Eduardo Vilaro’s Buscando a Juan, now available for online on-demand screening for free. Buscando a Juan premiered as part of the Summer 2023 MetLiveArts Season from July 13-15, 2023 at The Robert Lehman Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and was inspired by The Met’s Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter exhibition. A screening of the performance, co-hosted by Ballet Hispánico and MetLiveArts, was held on September 12, 2023, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A featuring Limor Tomer, Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang, General Manager, MetLiveArts; Vanessa K. Valdés, Co-Curator of the Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter exhibition; and Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, videos of both the performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the panel and Q&A at Ballet Hispánico are now available for screening here.
The MetLiveArts commission, which features dancers from Ballet Hispánico, explores sancocho, or a mixed soup of cultures and diasporas, and will consider the assumptions experienced when witnessing people of color in white spaces in relation to the exoticized body and fixation on gestures and sensuality.
Eduardo Vilaro is the Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico (BH). He was named BH’s Artistic Director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.
Mr. Vilaro’s philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community. He considers dance to be a liberating, non-verbal language through which students, dancers, and audiences of all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity, and the meaning of community.
Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectionality with other diasporas. His works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets with commissions that include the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony.
A Ballet Hispánico dancer and educator from 1988 to 1996, he left New York, earned a master’s in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago and then embarked on his own act of advocacy with a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago.
The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Mr. Vilaro was named one of 2023 Crain’s New York Business Notable LGBTQIA+ Leaders; received the Ruth Page Award for choreography in 2001; was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2016; and was awarded HOMBRE Magazine’s 2017 Arts & Culture Trailblazer of the Year. In 2019, he received the West Side Spirit’s WESTY Award, was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts and was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award. In August 2020, City & State Magazine included Mr. Vilaro in the inaugural Power of Diversity: Latin 100 list. In January 2021, Mr. Vilaro was recognized with a Compassionate Leaders Award, given to leaders who are courageous, contemplative, collaborative, and care about the world they will leave behind. In May 2022, he was honored to serve as a Grand Marshall of 2022 Dance Parade. Mr. Vilaro is a well-respected speaker on such topics as diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts, as well as on the merits of the intersectionality of cultures and the importance of nurturing and building Latinx leaders.
Ballet Hispánico is the largest Latinx/Latine/Hispanic cultural organization in the United States and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico’s three main programs, the Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships bring communities together to celebrate the multifaceted Hispanic diasporas. Ballet Hispánico’s New York City headquarters provide the physical home and cultural heart for Latinx dance in the United States. It is a space that initiates new inclusive cultural conversations and explores the intersectionality of Latine cultures. The Ballet Hispánico mission opens a platform for new social dialogue, and nurtures and sees a community in its fullness. Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement, Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies Latine voices in the field. For over fifty years Ballet Hispánico has provided a place of honor for the omitted, overlooked, and othered. As it looks to the future, Ballet Hispánico is pushing the culture forward on issues of dance and Latine creative expression.