Accent Dance NYC, a dance and performance initiative that champions arts education in New York City and neighboring areas, celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Regalo Hispánico. A colorful and whimsical evening of dance to highlight the voices of Latinx artists while welcoming the community back to experience live dance and celebrate the multiculturalism of New York City.
The event will take place on September 17 at Teatro LATEA, the iconic Latinx theater in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Accent Dance NYC will present the world premiere of its latest commissioned work, El Regalo de los Alebriges (The Gift of the Alebrijes), by Mexican choreographer David Fernandez.
According to the event organizers, the story follows a boy’s journey through the pandemic and the strain the ongoing isolation has placed on his already fraught relationship with his mother. He receives an assortment of Alebrijes as a birthday gift (brightly-colored Mexican folk-art sculptures of mythical creatures). With a bit of magic, imagination, and a piñata party, the creatures come to life through a series of playful dances, revealing to the young boy how wonder, hope, and the importance of family can be rekindled even during the most challenging times.
The show will also feature Argentinian choreographer Dardo Galletto with his work Tanguera, integrating traditional and progressive elements in an energetic and virtuoso display of the tango and Naranjo en Flor, an abstraction of tango accompanied by traditional music in the tango canon.
The program will also highlight the traditional music of Cuba as interpreted by living Mexican composer Arturo Márquez and contemporary ballet by Cuban choreographer Pedro Ruiz with excerpts of his full-length work, Danzón Catalina, choreographed by Accent Dance NYC artists Lucia Jackson and Dannys Gonzalez.
Inspired by the unique sounds of the Spanish pop-sensation singer-songwriter, Rosalía, the work offers contemporary movement with hints of flamenco flair, showcasing the diversity of movement among the internationally recognized ensemble.
Attendees will also enjoy Ricky Martin’s “Pegate,” a piece created in the spirit of artistic collaboration by the multidisciplinary Accent Dance NYC team, and often performed as part of the group’s educational programming throughout New York City and neighboring school systems. The work, upbeat and celebratory, champions the rich and diverse origins of salsa dance, leaving audiences dancing in their seats.
“With an organization that welcomes Latinx dancers, and a mission to serve the Latinx and other minority communities through our outreach and educational programming, we are looking forward to celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this year with the community —especially after so much time physically away from one another,” notes Andrea Ziegelman, Executive and Artistic Director of Accent Dance NYC. “To explore the voices of so many artists and tell the stories of culture and folklore through this cultural lens is a testament to our mission both on stage and off.”