Magazine article Pointe

Ballet De Monterrey

Magazine article Pointe

Ballet De Monterrey

Article excerpt

Ballet de Monterrey, a young company with a Latin flavor, is on the move.

When word got out about Ballet de Monterrey's recent successes on tour, people in the company's hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, clamored to see the dynamic, expressive group perform for themselves. Swan Lake drew admiring crowds, and performances of El Cascanueces ("The Nutcracker") sold out, requiring the addition of six more.

With its dramatic mountain vistas, Monterrey is Mexico's third largest city. Still, it had little in the way of arts 16 years ago when philanthropist Yolanda Santos-Garza founded BDM, the city's first ballet company. She made it her mission to bring art to the fast-growing northeastern Mexico city and mine the wealth of talent trained at Monterrey's Escuela Superior de Música y Danza, as previously the students trained there had no professional opportunities at home.

When he accepted the post as artistic director in 2003. former American Ballet Theatre principal Robert Hill says he fell m love with the dancers and the company, "I saw tremendous potential," says Hill. "They were hungry for inspiration, discipline and instruction." His appointment brought a healthy stability to the company. The dancers, from Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico, have thrived under Hill's direction.

Monterrey-born soloist Erasmo Pineda trained at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC, and then returned to his birthplace as a big fish in a small pond. With the company for 13 years, he has grown because of the challenges Hill sets for the dancers. Hill is "not Latino, but he likes the Latino feeling," says Pineda. "He wants to reflect our culture. …

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