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Ballet Hispánico’s “Doña Perón” comes to the Dorothy Chandler

The illegitimate daughter of a farmer, Eva (Evita) Perón concealed her shameful past as she rose to be Argentina’s First Lady. Her work as an activist for Argentina’s women and working-class conflicted with her opulent high-class life. Was she a voice for the people or a duplicitous actress?

These themes are explored in Ballet Hispánico’s Doña Perón  with three performances, July 12-14, at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Ballet Hispánico brings the Music Center’s 2023–2024 dance season to a thunderous close with the L.A. Premiere of this explosive ballet. Purchase tickets here.

Above photo: Ballet Hispánico in Doña Perón. Photo by Paula Lobo.

Ballet Hispánico in Doña Perón. Photo by Paula Lobo.
From the press release:

 The Music Center‘s 2023–2024 dance season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center finishes dramatically with the L.A. premiere of Ballet Hispánico’s Doña Perón—a modern ballet about the infamous Argentinian icon Eva “Evita” Perón—at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion from July 12–14, 2024. An explosive portrait of one of the most recognizable and controversial women in Argentinian history, Doña Perón was created by choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, who captivated Music Center audiences in 2023 with the lauded U.S. premiere of Frida performed by Dutch National Ballet. Doña Perón is Ochoa’s first full-length work for the New York-based Ballet Hispánico and marks the company’s first visit to The Music Center in 15 years.

We are ecstatic to finish our 21st season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center with the narrative of an iconic Latina figure by a Latina choreographer. This has been one of our boldest seasons yet, featuring several works about strong, dynamic women created by strong, incredibly talented women. In July, we end another extraordinary dance season with one of America’s cultural treasures—Ballet Hispánico—which has joined forces with the celebrated choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, whose works we will be presenting for the third time. Doña Perón will captivate Angelenos both through the story it tells and the dancers who bring this story to life!

Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center.

The illegitimate daughter of a wealthy landowner, Evita Perón concealed her past as she rose in the ranks from dancehall performer to Argentina’s First Lady before her untimely death at the age of 33. Doña Perón brings to light the extremes of power at the forefront of Evita’s life; her work as an activist and advocate for Argentina’s women and working-class raised skepticism as she indulged in the opulence of a high-class life. Was she a voice for the people or a deceitful actress? Ochoa explores these diverging legacies and more, with Artistic Collaborator Nancy Meckler and Composer Peter Salem—the same team whom Ochoa collaborated with for Dutch National Ballet’s Frida.

I am delighted to bring Ballet Hispánico to The Music Center, one of the world’s greatest venues, at the iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Now in my 15th year as artistic director, I couldn’t be more pleased that we return to introduce Los Angeles to our amazing artists with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s tour de force, Doña Peron.

Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico.

“Evita Peron is a complex woman. Devoid of judgment, we decided to dig deep into her past and the childhood events that shaped her hunger for fame, her thirst for recognition, and her fight for acceptance. She gave a voice to the underdog and did it with such passion and grit that some of her choices were controversial. As a female choreographer, I want to give female dancers interesting and complex roles to tackle. It is a challenge but also gratifying to be able to show all of these facets in Doña Perón.”

Choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.

Further expressing the facets and inspired by Ballet Hispánico’s Diálogos signature conversation series exploring the interconnections of the arts, social justice and Latino cultures, The Music Center will present Diálogos on Thursday, July 11, 2024, from 7:00–9:00 p.m., in the outdoor stage of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, one of the foremost local cultural hubs dedicated to celebrating Latino culture through exhibitions, music, dance, culinary arts and storytelling experiences. The free, family-friendly event in Downtown L.A. will focus on the embodied roots of Afro-Latinidad in movement, in a public discussion led by Ballet Hispánico’s Artistic Director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro and L.A.-based professional Peruvian folk dance artist Nadia Calmet, paired with performances by Ballet Hispánico dancers and local musicians. Guests are welcome to bring folding chairs, blankets and a picnic. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; the program begins at 7:30 p.m.

Special pre-show event:

Dance stemming from Afro-Latino roots continues on Friday, July 12, 2024, at The Music Center’s Dance DTLA, Los Angeles’ largest free outdoor summer dance party, which takes place on Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center from 7:00–11:00 p.m. The evening will highlight Reggaeton, beginning with easy-to-follow lessons led by teaching artist Dennis Guzman, and dancing into the night.

About the company:

For over 50 years, Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice in intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy and is now the largest Latino cultural organization in the United States. The company brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training and enduring community engagement experiences. National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispánico in 1970 at the height of the post-war civil rights movements. From its inception, Ballet Hispánico has focused on providing a haven for Black and Brown Latino youth and families seeking an artistic place and cultural sanctuary. By providing the space for Latino dance and dancers to flourish, Ballet Hispánico uplifts marginalized emerging and working artists, which, combined with the training, authenticity of voice and power of representation, fuels the company’s roots and trajectory.

In 2009, Ballet Hispánico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its artistic director, ushering in a new era by inserting fresh energy to the company’s founding values and leading Ballet Hispánico into an artistically vibrant future. Today, Ballet Hispánico’s New York City headquarters houses a school of dance and state-of-the-art dance studios for its programs and the arts community. From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe, Ballet Hispánico has stood as a catalyst for social change for over five decades. Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latino dance in the United States.

In 2009, Ballet Hispánico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its artistic director, ushering in a new era by inserting fresh energy to the company’s founding values and leading Ballet Hispánico into an artistically vibrant future. Today, Ballet Hispánico’s New York City headquarters houses a school of dance and state-of-the-art dance studios for its programs and the arts community. From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe, Ballet Hispánico has stood as a catalyst for social change for over five decades. Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latino dance in the United States.

Tickets to Ballet Hispánico’s Doña Perón are available for purchase now by visiting musiccenter.org/ballethispanico or by calling
(213) 972-0711.

For the latest news about The Music Center’s Diálogos, follow The Music Center on social @musiccenterla.

For information on The Music Center’s Dance DTLA, visit musiccenter.org/dancedtla.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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