As a frequent feature of Pillow performances since the 1940s, Hispanic dancers, choreographers, companies, and themes have long played important roles in the Festival’s history.
After electrifying Doris Duke Theatre audiences in her 2017 debut engagement, Irene Rodríguez brought her Cuban-based company to the Ted Shawn Theatre two years later and closed the program with this solo.
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Sones Jalicienses, 2016
This New York City-based company keeps Mexican-American traditions alive through the performance of both live music and dance.
Che Malambo, 2016
These Argentinian dancers exemplify more than just Hispanic heritage, as their roots are in West African dance, Irish step dance, tango, and flamenco.
Malpaso Dance Company
Under Fire, 2015
Demonstrating how culture continues to evolve, this Havana-based company is actively committed to bringing Cuban contemporary dance into the 21st century by collaborating with international choreographers such as Trey McIntyre.
Company Wang Ramirez
Sébastian Ramirez has both Spanish and Catalonian roots, while Honji Wang is of Korean and German parentage. Commenting on their diverse influences, Wang notes, “Everybody gets inspired by everybody!”
Tangueros del Sur
En el Abrazo, 2011
Best known in this country for her association with Broadway’s Forever Tango, choreographer Natalia Hills based this work for her Brazilian company on tango traditions of the 1940s and ’50s.
Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 (CND2)
Nacho Duato founded CND2 in 1999 and they made their U.S. debut at the Pillow in 2003, while the performance seen here marked the group’s final U.S. appearance as Duato left his native Spain.
Tito on Timbales, 2009
The music of Tito Puente provided the inspiration (and the title) for this work by William Whitener, who drew upon his experience with ballet, Broadway, and Twyla Tharp to create one of Ballet Hispánico’s most popular works.
El cielo está enladrillado, 1992
This Barcelona-based company made its U.S. debut at the Pillow in 1992, presenting the work of its founding directors, Sabine Dahrendorf and Alfonso Ordóñez.
Luis Rivera Spanish Dance Company
Intermezzo from the opera Goyescas, 1972
Whether leading his own troupe or performing in the companies of Ximenez-Vargas, Maria Alba, or José Molina, Luis Rivera was a regular fixture at the Pillow for more than twenty years after his 1960 debut.
Captured here is the first of only two Pillow appearances by the Mexican-born Gisela Noriega, who was noted in the press for her “finely detailed, colorful performances.”
Lupe Serrano & Royes Fernandez
Les Sylphides, 1970
Celebrated for their partnership at American Ballet Theatre in the 1950s and ’60s, these ballet stars each came from Spanish and French parentage, though Serrano was born in Chile and Fernandez hailed from Louisiana.
Carola Goya & Matteo, 1963
Although they were both born in New York, Carola Goya and Matteo were steeped in Spanish traditions and each of them widely performed, taught, lectured, and wrote about Spanish dance.
Alicia Alonso & Erik Bruhn
Pas de deux from Giselle, Act II, 1955
Known as the doyenne of ballet in Cuba for decades, Alicia Alonso only performed during one season at the Pillow but it was thankfully documented on film.
Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, 1946
Modern dance choreographer Doris Humphrey created this work especially to draw upon Limón’s Mexican heritage, using a poem by Federico Garcia-Lorca as the text.