* What: Patten Performance Series presents Ballet Hispanico.
* When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28.
* Where: Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.
* Admission: $24 adults, $21 seniors, $15 students.
* Phone: 423-425-4269.
* Website: www.utc.edu/finearts.
So says Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director of New York City-based Ballet Hispanico, which will present a performance as part of the Patten Performance Series in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Fine Arts Center on Monday, Oct. 28.
"Dance connects us," he told the Santa Barbara Independent. "It has been a connector since the beginning of time. When we didn't know anything about languages, we knew physicality, and we came together around the fire to build community, to share stories and to dance."
The company, which began in 1970 as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe, now performs a diverse repertory worldwide by prominent choreographers and emerging artists of the day. It has offered more than 3,350 performances to audiences of more than 2 million people throughout 11 countries.
It does so by presenting a program that fuses Latin dance with classical and contemporary techniques to create its own style of concert dance in which theatricality and passion are at the forefront.
The New Orleans Times Picayune described one such performance by the troupe.
"Vilaro's choreographic vocabulary is refreshingly contemporary," its reviewer said. "He adds breathing room to complex dance phrases by having his dancers bisect the stage at a walk, jog casually into position or skip in unison. He slows the action to better savor a graceful rise onto demi-point. He stops dancers in gut-clenching crouches and releases them to soar through ecstatic canons."
Choreographers contributing to the troupe's program represent countries including Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, plus Puerto Rico.
New to Ballet Hispanico's repertory during the 2013-14 season are "Sortijas," by Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto, which celebrates the Latino experience in its cultural and social complexity; "Archipiélago," choreographed by Vilaro, which explores distance, time and the separation caused by geographical politics; and works by Sergio Trujillo and Julio Zurita, Inma García and Meritxell Barberá, and former New York City Ballet soloist Edwaard Liang.
Other pieces include "Danzón," choreographed by Vilaro, "Tango Vitrola," choreographed by Alejandro Cervera, "Jardi Tancat," choreographed by Nacho Duato, "Club Havana," choreographed by Pedro Ruiz, and "Nube Blanco," choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
Contact Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497.