Culturally Responsive Artistry

Victoria Menchaca, Ordway 1/4/16

Ballet Hispanico and Teatro del Pueblo use dance, music, language, and theater to spark challenging dialogue about the history and the experiences of the Latino community. Guided by the mission to educate and bring light to Latino culture, these organizations delve into the importance in engaging their audiences. In this ORDWAY Extra, moderator Silvia Pontaza probes Eduardo Vilaro, Alberto Justiniano, and Ana Maria Correa to answer: What is their responsibility to serve and to represent their community?

In this video, the panelists discussed the importance in representing culture through art that is informed by multiple voices and perspectives within Latino communities prior to Ballet Hispanico’s performance at the Ordway.

Videography/Photography: Sherine Onukwuwe, Souleye Films

Speaker Bios

Silvia Pontaza
Actress, Director, Educator, Playwright, and Radio Host

Silvia Pontaza acts and directs for Teatro del Publo prdouctions, teaches theatre residences, writes plays, and produces her own radio show. A winner of the Knight Arts Challenge, Pontaza started a radio show and podcast to increase accessibility to art in the Latino community by presenting context on cultural exhibits and events in the Twin Cities.

Eduardo Vilaro
Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Ballet Hispanico

First generation Cuban-American Eduardo Vilaro is the artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispanico. Originally a dancer traveling around the world with the Ballet Hispanico Company, Vilaro has been part of the company since 1985. Previously, he serves on the board of directors of Dance/USA, taught at the Dance Center of Columbia College, and served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Alberto Justiniano
Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Teatro del Pueblo

Developing and performing a large majority of educational residencies in schools and forum discussions at the Political Theatre Festival, Alberto Justiniano is the co-founder and artistic director of Teatro del Pueblo. In his work, Justiniano hopes to educate the greater community through multi-racial topics that portray commonalities between races.

AnaMaria Correa
Senior Director of Community Engagement at Ballet Hispanico

A current doctoral student in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center, AnaMaria Correa is the senior director of community engagement at Ballet Hispanico. Correa believes her life work is to ensure that young people, the community, and educators have access to and a meaningful connection with arts experiences that transform their lives through the incredible work of exquisite artists and their craft.

Ballet Hispanico is a dance company that explores, preserves, and celebrates Latino cultures through dance. With choreographers that represent a multitude of Latin nations, Ballet Hispanico aims to build new avenues of cultural dialogue and share the joy of dance with all communities.

View more photos in an online gallery >

Ballet Hispanico preshow photos by Sherine Onukwuwe

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