Ballet Hispánico has announced the Washington, DC premiere of Doña Perón at the Kennedy Center, November 30 – December 3, 2022, Wed – Sat at 8pm, Sat at 2pm. Tickets are currently available on subscription and can be purchased online at https://www.kennedy-center.org/whats-on/subscriptions/2022-2023/ballet-dance/, by phone (202-416-8500), or in-person with the Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC Date for single tickets on sale will be announced at a later date.
Last seen at the Kennedy Center in 2013, Ballet Hispánico returns with internationally renowned choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Doña Perón, set to music by Peter Salem. Doña Perón is the first full evening-length work commissioned by the Company and reclaims the narrative of the iconic Latina figure by a Latina choreographer. The work is an explosive portrait of Eva “Evita” Perón, one of the most recognizable, and controversial, women in Argentinian history. The illegitimate daughter of a prosperous farmer, Evita concealed this shameful past as she rose the ranks from dancehall performer to Argentina’s First Lady-all before her untimely death de ella at the age of 33.
Doña Perón brings to light the extremes of power at the forefront of Evita’s life. Her work de ella 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. A voice for the people, or a delightful actress? Ochoa explores these diverging legacies and more in this seminal work, marking Ballet Hispánico’s move beyond their 50th Anniversary and the continuation of centering the voices of Latinx artists.
“She’s not a fairytale character, she’s not a literary character,” said Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. “She’s a real woman, and for me, it’s interesting to put her on stage because she’s difficult to pinpoint. I want to give female dancers real roles, not always the nice roles. Women are complex and it’s nice to show all of these facets I’m very grateful that I can put this woman, Evita Perón, on stage as a female choreographer.”
About the Artists
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (Choreographer) has been choreographing since 2003 following a twelve-year dance career in various contemporary dance companies throughout Europe. She has created works for sixty dance companies worldwide including Ballet Hispánico, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Compañia Nacíonal de Danza, Dutch National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Göteborg Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, BJM-Danse Montréal, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, to name a few. In 2012, her first full length work on her, A Streetcar Named Desire, originally created for the Scottish Ballet, received the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for “Best Classical Choreography” and was nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production the following year. Annabelle was the recipient of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2019.
Nancy Meckler (Artistic Collaborator) is a director known for her work in the United Kingdom with Shared Experience, where she was a joint Artistic Director alongside Polly Teale. Meckler has directed a production of ID Ella She was a member of the London-based collective the Freehold Theater Company (1969-1973), where she eventually became Director. The group employed devising methodology to create work, and was the first company to receive the John Whiting Award for “new and distinctive development in dramatic writing,” traditionally given to playwrights.
Peter Salem (Music) is very much in demand as a ballet composer, and has recently completed his third ballet, Broken Wings, for the English National Ballet, which opened to huge critical and popular success in April 2016. His media work is also internationally renowned, mainly his music for “Call the Midwife,” which won the Best Television Program Music category at the Music and Sound Awards 2016, as well as other high profile productions. His extensive theater work by him includes many scores for productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre, and Shared Experience Theatre.
Mark Eric (Costume Design) is a costume and fashion designer based in New York City, where he trained at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After designing for several New York City fashion houses, he discovered his passion for costuming for the stage. He enjoys bringing his couture fashion sensibility to his design by him, often employing artisanal techniques when creating his signature costumes. He has designed costumes for Robert Battle, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Rennie Harris, Robbie Fairchild, Stefanie Batten Bland, Andrew McNicol, and Marguerite Donlon to name a few. He has costumed works for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, BalletX, Ballet Hispanico, Ailey II, among others.
Christopher Ash (Lighting, Set, and Video Design) is a Philadelphia-based Designer and Filmmaker whose work has been seen in 13 countries and been recognized for 15 awards. Equally at home designing projections, scenery or lighting for theatre, opera, and dance as well as direction and cinematography for film. Christopher is currently involved in a multi-phase Guggenheim Works and Process commission with artist John Jarboe. He is also co-creator of an ongoing multi-sensory performance piece “Body Language” with Dublin based dance artist David Bolger and CoisCéim Dance Theatre.
About the Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, attracting millions of visitors each year to more than 2,000 performances, events, and exhibits. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center is one of the nation’s busiest performing arts centers dedicated to providing world-class art, powerful education, and outstanding memorial experiences to the broadest possible constituency. Across all its offerings, the Kennedy Center is committed to increasing accessibility, including opportunities for all people to participate in, and learn through the arts, including more than 400 free performances each year and a variety of Specially Priced Ticket programs for students, seniors, persons with disabilities, and others. On September 7, 2019, the Kennedy Center inaugurated the REACH, its first-ever major expansion. Designed by Steven Holl Associates, the REACH provides visitors with new opportunities to interact and engage with the Center as the nation’s premier nexus of arts, learning, and culture. During the 2021-2022 season, the Center celebrates its 50th anniversary.
About Hispanic Ballet
For fifty years Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy and is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico 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 focused on providing a haven for Black and Brown Latinx youth and families seeking artistic place and cultural sanctuary. By providing the space for Latinx dance and dancers to flourish, Ballet Hispánico uplifted marginalized emerging and working artists, which combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization’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 house 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, for fifty years Ballet Hispánico has stood as a catalyst for social change. Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latinx dance in the United States. Ballet Hispanico has developed a robust public presence across its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement efforts, Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies underrepresented voices in the field. For fifty years Ballet Hispanico has provided a place of honor for the omitted, overlooked, and oppressed. As it looks to the next fifty years and beyond, Ballet Hispánico seeks to empower, and give agency to, the Latinx experience and those individuals within it.