Ballet Hispanico Residency at Skidmore College - Introduction
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Ballet Hispanico Residency at Skidmore College,
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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Tina Ramirez, Artistic Director, Ballet Hispanico
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More articles on Ballet Hispanico in residence at Skidmore College
By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 17 and June 18, 2003
Originally Published on ExploreDance.com
For two days in June, I had the pleasure of re-locating to my favorite Campus in my favorite town, Saratoga Springs, in the New York Adirondacks, home of Skidmore College, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Saratoga Race Track, Yaddo Retreat, the Mineral Baths, and the Saratoga Battlefield, not to mention many other sites and places of entertainment and excitement. Another pleasure that combined with this trip was to re-visit with my friends from Ballet Hispanico (See Ballet Hispanico Review 12/15/02, 12/6/02 and Pedro Ruiz Interview).
I observed Ballet Hispanico in closed and open rehearsal, as they practiced and produced Nightclub, a new full-evening-length work, which is a work in progress, and which was partially performed on the evening of June 18. I also visited Pedro Ruiz' very effective Master Class in Modern Dance technique, for Skidmore Summer Dance registrants and other guests, group Flamenco and Jazz classes, for Summer Dance registrants, and I interviewed one of the Ballet Hispanico dancers, as well.
Tina Ramirez is a Master Teacher and Performer, with an eye for talent and a soul for the Latin sound and perfected technique of Ballet Hispanico. These are passionate and dynamic dancers, who, for me, become more endearing on each observation and encounter. Whether it's a Jazz Class, a Flamenco Class, a Master Modern Dance Class, or a Company Rehearsal, I was extremely impressed with the focus and energy on view at all times, with side stage practicing ongoing, as dancers critique themselves in the effort to realize their stage potential.
Erin Strong, Skidmore Staff, and Tina Ramirez, Artistic Director, Ballet Hispanico
June 17, 2003, Closed Rehearsal of Nightclub: Ms. Ramirez broke the rehearsal into several takes, encouraging all dancers to remember they are onstage, whether their parts are large or small. She reminded her eleven dancers, "It's about where you've been, where you are, and where you're going". "Finish your energy with your toes." She wanted her dancers to always be in character, to only come out of character at the final curtain. "Don't lose your character or change from day to day." I thought this was excellent advice for any performer onstage, who needs to create a character for himself/herself, especially in a role that is not previously well-defined. Ms. Ramirez perfected some choreography of "popping and melting", in a partnered effect.