After two years of planning and construction, Ballet Hispanico has opened the doors of its newly renovated headquarters on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “Ballet Hispanico is continuing its mission to be a beacon for communities to celebrate Latino culture,” says artistic director Eduardo Vilaro. “In order to do that, we can’t be shrouded in darkness. We need to be bright and up front.”
The building’s old entrances were replaced with a glass exterior that allows passersby to look in and see dancing. The 10th-floor studio has been revamped into a performance space. Additionally, the costume and production room now has windows so visitors can observe work in progress.
Central to the new look is a brand-new lobby, with dance images and three digital displays. One of these is interactive, so visitors can access information about the company, founder and choreographers. “People don’t just come in and take a class,” Vilaro says. “They come in and experience the culture of the company.” Studios will be available to rent for rehearsal, showings and other events. “We’ve been here for 45 years. We’re here for the community,” he says.
The reconstruction was made possible by The Arnhold Foundation and the Ford Foundation.