Orlando Ballet welcomes Puerto Ricans to free Latin-inspired show

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Orlando Ballet’s upcoming production, “Bailamos!,” is celebrating the premiere of its Latin-inspired show by inviting Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria.

Orlando Ballet is partnering with the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to offer 1,000 free tickets to its Feb. 16 show, according to a press release from Orlando Ballet. The purpose is to support and welcome Puerto Ricans in Central Florida recovering from “one of the worst natural disasters in the island’s history.”

“The thriving arts culture is a part of what makes Orlando home, and this historic ticket contribution will allow some of our newest residents to come together, enjoy ballet, and celebrate the rich diversity of Central Florida,” said Shane Jewell, Orlando Ballet’s executive director.

The production will show the audience a mix of salsa and tango set to greatest hits, like “Gracias a la Vida.” The goal of “Bailamos!” is to celebrate the diversity of the ballet’s dancers and the community they call home, according to the release.

“It’s been my long-standing goal to make ballet relevant and accessible to today’s audience and ‘Bailamos!’ is a great opportunity for newcomers to experience the passion and excitement we bring to every performance,” said Robert Hill, artistic director.

Many of its dancers come from Latin American countries, like Colombia or Brazil. The Orlando Ballet said the dancers’ diverse backgrounds will “add an exciting element to some of the most fiery and riveting excerpts from the classical ballet world.”

Performances will run Feb. 15-17 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Those eligible for complimentary tickets can call the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration for more information at (407) 776- 9000.

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