Latin dance theatre in New York City is ballet, flamenco, tango and folkloric. There are also lively reggaeton, salsa, bachata and tango social dancing scenes.
NYC Dance Festivals
Fall for Dance, Harkness, Flamenco Festival, Youth America Grand Prix, Battery Dance
Friday, August 14-22, 2020 YOUTUBE FREE – African, Indian, Middle Eastern, Romanian, French, Greek, Japanese, Women’s, LGBT, Indigenous, Mexican and Disability dance
Friday-Monday, July 17-20, 2020
May 17 – July 7, 2020 Virtual on BAM.ORG
NYC Dance Theaters
David H. Koch Theater, Metropolitan Opera House, New York City Center, Joyce
LINCOLN CENTER, NYC NYC’s grandest stage is home of the Metropolitan Opera and American Ballet Theatre
MIDTOWN, NYC Dance theatre including the Fall for Dance Festival, Flamenco Festival, Alvin Ailey; and Manhattan Theatre Club Broadway revivals ~ ¡New York Latin Culture Sponsor!
LINCOLN CENTER, NYC The home of the New York City Ballet and fall seasons of American Ballet Theatre is NYC’s premiere dance theater
UPPER EAST SIDE, NYC This legendary Jewish community center hosts talks, classical and jazz concerts, and the Harkness Dance Festival ~ ¡New York Latin Culture Sponsor!
CHELSEA, NYC NYC’s international dance theater is a dance producer who has long developed dance in Cuba ~ ¡New York Latin Culture Sponsor!
NYC Dance Companies
New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are New York City’s leading dance companies.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 DIXON PLACE Lower East Side, NYC On the theme of “The Inner Strength”, Kennyth Montes de Oca and the fine OCA Dance dancers invoke the West African mother goddess of the sea, Yemayá, on their way to that special place in the mountains of the human soul. “Olo ho Yemayá, Olo…
Thursday, January 30, 2020 PURCHASE COLLEGE – Purchase, New York (White Plains) The legacy company of Mexican-American modern dance pioneer José Limón performs Limón classics and new works -¡Sponsored by Purchase College!
Contemporary ballet with Mexican folkloric styling. -¡New York Latin Culture Sponsor!
BOROUGH PARK, Brooklyn
JOAN WEIL CENTER FOR DANCE Hell’s Kitchen, NYC – The African-American modern dance company that popularized modern dance around the world, performs at New York City Center in fall and the David H. Koch Theater in spring.
FALL September-October WINTER January-March SPRING April-May DAVID H. KOCH THEATER Lincoln Center, NYC – George Balanchine (Ballets Russes) and Jerome Robbins (Broadway) built one of the world’s great ballet companies.
UPPER WEST SIDE, NYC United State’s leading Latino contemporary dance organization -¡New York Latin Culture Sponsor!
New York City’s leading Mexican folkloric dance organization has a touring company, a dance school and does arts in education programs. This company is so good, they should be on Broadway. -¡New York Latin Culture Sponsor!
HAMILTON HEIGHTS, NYC ~ This fine ballet company and ballet school has superb African, Brazilian, Creole and Cuban dancers
NYC Dance Stores
A biography of the Italian ballet dancer and actor
NEW YORK CITY; Dec 3, 2018; Cuban ballet leader ~ Lourdes Lopez, Miami City Ballet Artistic Director, former New York City Ballet Principal, talks about being a Cuban immigrant, family, opportunity, dancing for Balanchine and Robbins, the future of ballet and who we really are
Friday, April 14, 2017 YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX DAVID H. KOCH THEATER, Lincoln Center
Ballet, Country Dance, Contredanse, Contradanza, Danzón, Habanera, Tango, Swing, Salsa, Bachata, Reggaeton?
Latin dance, both ballet and social dances, derives from a blend of English country dance and Italian court dance in the court of French King Louie XIV. This is not an academic summary, but is our best understanding of the origins of our dance traditions for the moment.
We tend not to think of ballet, the science of dance, as a Latin dance, but it is. Ballet began as an Italian court dance brought to France by Catherine de’ Medici (1519-1589), when she was queen consort and then Queen mother of France (1547-1589).
French King Louis XIV (1643-1715), the “Sun King” loved to party. Ballet developed in his court, but in a way, so did the social dances of the Americas.
English country dancing began influencing dancing in the court (1558-1603) of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England. It was later introduced to the court of Louis XIV where it became the French contredanse.
The Spanish brought “contradanza,” flamenco and Africans to the Americas. The French brought contredanse and the English brought country dance.
Africa has diverse song and dance traditions. African dances can be spiritual, healing or purely social for fun. Like many social dances, African dance is both an expression of belonging to a group and of one’s own individuality within that group. That probably became even more important during the time of human enslavement because family separation was a standard slaver’s tactic. Separated from family, we create our own families and that is still true in New York City today.
In Cuba Spanish contradanza and flamenco began mixing with West African movement into the “habanera,” the way they dance in Havana. Nobody claims Indigenous origins in the dances, but the music has some, so the dances must too. Colonizers didn’t control everything. If you got free, you fled to the mountains where free Africans and remaining Indigenous mixed together. Anyway, from all this we get danzón, the national dance of Cuba.
French Saint-Domingue was the richest Caribbean sugar colony so it influenced the entire region including Puerto Rico and Trinidad. The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) caused a French and African (Creole) diaspora which influenced the habanera and even New Orleans.
Out of the Caribbean we get cumbia, merengue, salsa, bachata and reggaeton. The habanera is the root of tango, the national dance of Argentina with origins in Uruguay. Cuban flamenco traditions even made the round trip back to Spain (flamenco ida y vuelta) and influenced flamenco there. Dictator Trujillo (ruled 1930-1961) liked his island’s country dance, merengue, and made it the national dance of the Dominican Republic. Swing was created by African-Americans in Harlem.
Ballet almost died when the French Revolution (1789-1799) ended the French court. It survived in the courts of Russia and Denmark and was reintroduced to the world by Ballets Russes of Paris on tours of the Americas (1909-1929).
Choreographer George Balanchine started his rise at Ballets Russes and in New York founded New York City Ballet. His first prima ballerina and the first New York City ballet star was Native American dancer Maria Tallchief. As the Sugarplum Fairy she helped make “The Nutcracker” the iconic ballet.
In New York Broadway dancing mixed together African-American, Jewish and other theater traditions. Modern dance pioneers include Alvin Ailey (African-American) and José Limón (Mexican-American). Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater popularized modern dance around the world. Contemporary dance follows.
In dance, as in most other things, to say this is mine and that is yours is usually ignorant and foolish. We are all mixes of each other.