Ballet and Jazz team up in Dec. 8 show

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Ballet Association will present a fusion of ballet and Jazz on Dec. 8. The Ballet Hispanico teams up with the 20-member, Grammy Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for an evening of Latin music and dance at the Mahalia Jackson Theater at 7:30 p.m.

Celebrated as “hands down the leading Hispanic-American dance company,” according to the Buenos Aires Herald, and led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the company brings a program filled with rhythms of Cuban, jazz and big-band music and the stylish Latin social dances of Mambo, Rumba, Salsa and Cha-cha. The result is a fiery evening that “makes you want to get up and dance,” according to the The New York Times.

The evening’s program is comprised of three high-octane works, including Tito on Timbale, a tribute to the music of master percussionist Tito Puente. Choreographed by William Whitener, the work captures the joy and intricacies of social dance through cascading patterns and sensual partnering. The finale Club Havana, created by Cuban choreographer Pedro Ruiz, is pure Latin dancing with all of themystique of a sultry nightclub in Old Havana.

Both works feature the celebrated Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra led by artistic director Arturo O’Farrill. The centerpiece of the evening, Asuka, was created by Vilaro and honors the life of the legendary Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz.

Tickets ranging from $20-$80 may be purchased through the New Orleans Ballet Association Box Office at 504-522-0996, online at www.nobadance.com or through TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups.

All audience members are invited to join Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro at 6:45 p.m. upstairs in the Mezzanine, Level M2, of the Mahalia Jackson Theater for a pre-performance talk.

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