Ballet takes on a Latin beat

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:48

HACKETTSTOWN — The Centenary Stage Company will welcome one of the state’s premiere dance companies, the New Jersey Ballet, on Saturday Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. in the David and Carol Lackland Center’s Sitnik Theatre in Hackettstown. Drawing inspiration from the golden age of Spanish Baroque, the company will perform “Ballet with a Latin Beat II”, celebrating the rhythms and culture of Brazil, Cuba and Mexico. Choreographed by Pedro Ruiz, Humberto Teixeira, and Junio Teixeira, the evening’s program combines cultural dances with ballet set to an Afro-Cuban beat, with music by Mexican musician, Jesus Echevarria. With 16 dancers hailing from six separate countries, including Bulgaria, Japan, Russia, and Columbia, Ballet with a Latin Beat II focuses on diversity in its performance. According to Star Ledger dance critic, Robert Johnson, Ballet with a Latin Beat II is replete with “vivid images” and “fluid patterns” in the performance. “It has a real creative spring in its step,” states critic Sheila Abrams about the innovative program. Ruiz’s Guajira recalls recalls life in the Cuban countryside danced to an insistent Afro-Cuban beat. Abrams acclaims Pedro Ruiz’s choreography as “A confection of ballet, full of surprising and original movements that made us wish we had a rewind button available.” Among the program’s other highlights, Tamoia introduces Brazilian-born choreographer Humberto Teixeira to CSC audiences. His ballet is described as a high-voltage contemporary piece set in the Amazon rainforest. Teixeira weaves together influences from the variety of cultures and music from Europe, Africa and the indigenous people of the forest. “The Para Dois [pas de deux in Portuguese] is one of the Ballet’s 'crowd-pleasers'”, says NJB Artistic Director Carolyn Clay. “It is a high-energy romp inspired by Brazilian street dancing.” The piece was co-choreographed by NJB dancer Junio Teixeira, who performs the piece with Ana Luiza Luizi. Tickets for the performance of the NJ Ballet are $25.00 if purchased in advance and $30.00 at the door, with discounts for seniors and students ($22.50 advance/$25 day of) and children under 12 ($17.50 advance/$20.00 day of). Tickets are available through the Centenary Stage Company box office at 715 Grand Avenue, open 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and two hours prior to each performance. They may be purchased online at, or by calling the box office at 908-979-0900. The 2011-12 season of performing arts events at Centenary Stage Company is made possible (and affordable) through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ Council of the Arts, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, and Centenary Stage Company members and sponsors, including Premiere Sponsors Skylands Community Bank and Health Village Retirement Community, as well as Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and Mama’s Café and Baci.