Auditorium Theatre Presents Chicago Premiere of Ballet Hispánico’s DOÑA PERÓN
The Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive) proudly presents the long-awaited return of Ballet Hispánico, the nation’s renowned Latinx dance organization recognized as one of America’s Cultural Treasures, with the Chicago Premiere of Doña Perón in two performances only, March 26 & 27, 2022.
Choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa 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 at the age of 33.
Doña Perón brings to light the extremes of power at the forefront of Evita’s life. Her work 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 deceitful actress? Lopez Ochoa explores these diverging legacies and more in this seminal work, marking Ballet
Hispánico’s move beyond its 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 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.”
Added Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan, ”Ballet Hispánico last performed on a Chicago stage more than 15 years ago. The Auditorium Theatre is honored to present the company’s long awaited return to both its loyal fans and new audiences, alike. And especially in March – recognized as Women’s History Month – what a powerful production to showcase on the Auditorium Theatre stage, as we continue to shine a light on female choreographers. We hope this engagement is the start of many more visits.”
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, 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. Ochoa 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 I.D. She was a member of London-based collective, the Freehold Theatre 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, principally his music for “Call the Midwife,” which won the Best Television Programme Music category at the Music and Sound Awards 2016, as well as other high profile productions. His extensive theatre work 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, 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. He is equally at home designing projections, scenery or lighting for theatre, opera, and dance as well as direction and cinematography for film. Ash 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.
Performance schedule and tickets
Ballet Hispánico presents the Chicago Premiere of Doña Perón in two performances only at the Auditorium Theatre: Saturday, March 26 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 27 at 3pm.
Tickets start at $37 and are available at AuditoriumTheatre.org, by calling 312.341.2300, or at the Box Office at 50 E Ida B Wells Drive in Chicago, IL. Click here for phone and in-person hours. Ballet Hispánico is part of the Auditorium Theatre’s International Dance Series offering a 20% discount that also includes Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater March 2-6, 2022. “Create Your Own” Series subscription offering a 15-25% discount. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more people are also available. The Auditorium Theatre offers $15 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways’ Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium also offers a Student Savings Club for both college and high school students. The Auditorium Theatre’s ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.
About Ballet Hispánico
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. Vilaro is a familiar and beloved name to Chicago dance aficionados, as the founder and artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater here from 1999-2009. 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.
The Auditorium Theatre is grateful for the support of 2021-22 Season Dance Sponsor, The Florian Fund; Ballet Hispánico Co-Presenting Sponsors, Pamela Crutchfield and Phil Lumpkin; and Performance Sponsors, Elizabeth Yntema and Mark Ferguson in support of female leadership in the performing arts.
The Auditorium Theatre 2021-22 Season is made possible in part with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. The Auditorium’s official hotel partner is the Palmer House Hilton and its official magazine is Chicago magazine.
About The Auditorium Theatre
The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark that originally opened in 1889. For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please visit AuditoriumTheatre.org.
The Auditorium Theatre is fully committed to the health and safety of our patrons and our staff. For this event, patrons 5 and over are REQUIRED to show proof of vaccination at the door. Guests under 5 may gain entry by wearing a mask at all times when not eating and drinking. All guests must wear a mask when not eating or drinking. Click here for the most current safety protocols.