the washington ballet

TWB’s Season Ends with a Mixed Repertory Program that is a Celebration of Latin Music, Dance and Culture

Program Features World Premiere Ballets by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Edwaard Liang and the Company Premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Like a Samba


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Ballet (TWB) closes its 2011.12 season with ¡Noche Latina!, an all-NEW mixed repertory program celebrating Latin music and dance. The three movement program includes world premieres by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Edwaard Liang, and the company premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Like a Samba, May 9-13 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Eisenhower Theater. Latina diva, Totó la Momposina, and band will perform live during the first intermission of every performance. Additionally, internationally renowned Spanish painter and sculptor, Cristóbal Gabarrón, will create sets for Edwaard Liang’s new ballet. The set sculptures will later be sold to raise money to support the Company’s Latino dancers and outreach programs.


The world premiere ballets of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Edwaard Liang include music by singers, songwriters, and musicians of Spanish, Argentinian, Costa Rican and Mexican descent. Together with Trey McIntyre’s Like a Samba, their choreography will interpret stories of passion, romance, love and life in Spain and Latin America.

Iconic Latina divas such as the Spanish melodic singer Maria Dolores Pradera and Mexican singer Chavela Vargas known as “the rough voice of tenderness,” perform on the soulful soundtracks of Ms. Ochoa’s world premiere ballet. Complemented with brilliant costumes and energetic dancers, the choreography of this new ballet is an interpretation of the passionate life and love stories of Latin culture.

Mr. Liang’s ballet (working title La Ofrenda) is based on the Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos), a holiday celebrated in Mexico and throughout Latin America and features music by Argentine musician Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain, Babel), Mexican musical duo Rodrigo y Gabriela and Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs. For this world premiere ballet, Cristóbal Gabarrón will create several hundred fiberglass sculptures depicting iconic symbols related to the Day of the Dead –flowers, doves, skulls and other abstract forms as well as fiberglass masks for the dancers.

The Washington Ballet’s Artistic Director, Septime Webre stated, “It’s amazing to see what great minds do in collaboration with each other, and in this case Cristóbal Gabarrón and Edwaard Liang create a whole new world for our stage filled with magic, spirituality and power. It leaves one breathless.”

Following the run of ¡Noche Latina!, Mr. Gabarrón’s sculptures will be individually mounted, signed by the artist and sold. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Ballet in support of the Ballet’s Noche de Pasión 2012 benefit on May 11 which raises money for TWB’s Latino dancers and outreach programs. Purchasers will get a living piece of art created by Mr. Gabarrón and featured in the Ballet’s ¡Noche Latina! program along with a framed photograph of their sculpture on stage  from the production.

Trey McIntyre’s Like a Samba makes its company debut with The Washington Ballet to the soundtrack of Astrud Gilberto’s sensuous music. Applied to bossa nova and bluegrass, Mr. McIntyre’s choreography is inspired by a samba of sophistication and sensual desire, while demonstrating sinuosity.

TWB’s special guest performer is Colombian singer, Totó la Momposina, who will perform traditional indigenous Colombian and Afro-Latin music live during the first intermission of every ¡Noche Latina! performance. Using her voice as an instrument for traditional Colombian music with a mix of African, Indian and Latin influences, Totó la Momposina will sing selections from previous albums including her groundbreaking album, “La Candela Viva.”

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

The Colombian and Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa completed her dance studies at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, Belgium. After a 12-year career in various European dance companies, Ms. Ochoa decided in 2003 to focus solely on choreography. Ms. Ochoa has created works for numerous companies around the world, including the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Dutch National Ballet, Djazzex, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Gran Canaria Ballet, the Gothenburg Ballet, Modern Dance Theater Ankara, BalletX, Pennsylvania Ballet, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet Hispanico, Le Jeune Ballet du Québec, BJM-Danse Montréal, Jacoby&Pronk, Saarbrucken Ballett, Chemnitzer Ballett, Whim W’him, Incolballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Finnish National Ballet and Compania Nacional de Danza. These performances mark  Ms. Ochoa’s Washington Ballet debut.


Edwaard Liang

Born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Marin County, California, Edwaard Liang began his ballet training at the age of five at Marin Ballet and later entered the School of American Ballet. He joined New York City Ballet in 1993, was promoted to Soloist in 1998 and danced with NYCB until 2001, when he joined the Broadway cast of Fosse. In 2002, Mr. Liang became a member of acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater 1, where he danced, choreographed and staged many ballets. After returning from Holland, Mr. Liang danced with NYCB from 2004-2007. Mr. Liang has choreographed ballets for the New York Choreographic Institute, Cedar Lake Dance Company, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, National Ballet of Novosibirsk, Colorado Ballet and Morphoses: The Wheeldon Company. Mr. Liang was named one of the TOP 25 to Watch by Dance Magazine for choreography in 2006.


Trey McIntyre

A professionally trained dancer, Trey McIntyre is one of the most sought- after choreographers working today. Mr. McIntyre studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts and later with Houston Ballet Academy. In 1989, he was named Choreographic Apprentice to Houston Ballet, a position created for him by Artistic Director Ben Stevenson. Mr. McIntyre has created a canon of over 70 works for companies in the United States and abroad, including Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet,  Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet and Ballet de Santiago (Chile). He has served as Resident Choreographer for Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, and The Washington Ballet. From 1995 until 2007, he was Choreographic Associate for Houston Ballet. McIntyre has received numerous prestigious grants and awards, including two choreographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography. In 2003, he was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.”

Cristóbal Gabarrón

Cristobal Gabarrón is an internationally renowned painter and sculptor from Spain. His work is collected by museums, cultural centers and individuals around the world. Currently, Mr. Gabarrón has an exhibition entitled, “Gabarrón’s Roots” at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. The Gabarrón family has an extensive family foundation focused on supporting young artists in Spain, Latin America and across the globe. They have cultural centers in New York City and across six cities in Spain and collaborate closely with Queen Sofía of Spain in a prestigious award program established to recognize global cultural leaders and to donate scholarships to young artists across the world.


Totó la Momposina

Sonia Bazanta Vides, better known as Totó la Momposina, is a Colombian singer of traditional mixed indigenous Colombian and Afro-Latin music. She was born in the northern Colombian town of Talaigua Nuevo near Mompox in the Bolívar Department. She released her 1993 album “La Candela Viva” on Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records label.


Noche de Pasión 2012

Under the auspices of H.E. The Ambassador of Mexico and Mrs. Veronica Valencia-Sarukhan and co-chairs Pilar Frank-O’Leary and Isabel de la Cruz Ernst, Noche de Pasión 2012, celebrates ¡Noche Latina! and The Washington Ballet on Friday, May 11, 2012. The evening includes a VIP pre-performance cocktail reception, VIP seating at the performance of ¡Noche Latina!, and dinner and dancing immediately following the performance at The Mexican Cultural Institute. Mr. Gabarrón will be a special guest at Noche de Pasión 2012 on May 11, 2012. All proceeds from this annual event benefit the Hispanic artists and community engagement programs of The Washington Ballet. To learn more or to purchase tickets to ¡Noche Latina! or Noche de Pasión, visit The Washington Ballet’s website.



Tickets for ¡Noche Latina! priced from $20 to $125, are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, or 202.467.4600.

The Washington Ballet

¡Noche Latina!

The Washington Ballet’s season-closing production of ¡Noche Latina! unveils magical stories of life, love and tradition in Spain and Latin America through the music of legendary Latin divas. The ballet program premieres at The Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater May 9-13, 2012. In addition to the world-premiere by Edwaard Liang with sets by Cristóbal Gabarrón, the program features Trey McIntyre’s Like a Samba, a world-premiere by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and live performances by Latina diva, Totó la Momposina.


Wednesday, May 9 at 8 PM (Preview)

Thursday, May 10 at 8 PM (Opening)

Friday, May 11 at 8 PM

Saturday, May 12 at 2:30 PM and 8 PM

Sunday, May 13 at 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM


Performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater



Originally founded as The Washington School of Ballet in 1944 by legendary ballet pioneer Mary Day and incorporated as a professional company in 1976, The Washington Ballet (TWB) is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States. TWB has built an international reputation presenting bold works by choreographers from around the world, including Choo-San Goh, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp and Nacho Duato, as well as Neoclassical masterworks and fresh stagings of 19th century classics. Under the leadership of Septime Webre, Artistic Director and Peter M. Branch, Executive Director, TWB has embraced a three-part mission: ensuring excellence in its professional performance company; growing the next generation of dancers through its Washington School of Ballet; and serving the community in which it resides through robust community engagement programs. 


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