The Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive) will present the long-awaited return of Ballet Hispánico, the nation’s renowned Latinx dance organization, with the Chicago Premiere of Doña Perón.
Choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa to music by Peter Salem, Doña Perón is the first full evening-length work commissioned by the Company and reclaims the narrative of the iconic Latina figure by a Latina choreographer. The work is an explosive portrait of Eva “Evita” Perón, one of the most recognizable, and controversial, women in Argentinian history. The illegitimate daughter of a prosperous farmer, Evita concealed this shameful past as she rose the ranks from dancehall performer to Argentina’s First Lady – all before her untimely death at the age of 33.
Doña Perón brings to light the extremes of power at the forefront of Evita’s life. Her work as an activist and advocate for Argentina’s women and working class raised skepticism as she indulged in the opulence of a high-class life. Whether a voice for the people, or a deceitful actress, Lopez Ochoa explores these diverging legacies and more in this seminal work, marking Ballet Hispánico’s move beyond its 50th Anniversary and the continuation of centering the voices of Latinx artists.
“She’s not a fairytale character, she’s not a literary character,” said Lopez Ochoa. “She’s a real woman, and for me, it’s interesting to put her on stage because she’s difficult to pinpoint. I want to give female dancers real roles, not always the nice roles. Women are complex and it’s nice to show all of these facets. I’m very grateful that I can put this woman, Evita Perón, on stage as a female choreographer.”
Added Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan, ”Ballet Hispánico last performed on a Chicago stage some 10 years ago. The Auditorium Theatre is honored to present the company’s long awaited return to both its loyal fans and new audiences, alike. And especially in March – recognized as Women’s History Month – what a powerful production to showcase on the Auditorium Theatre stage, as we continue to shine a light on female choreographers. We hope this engagement is the start of many more visits.”
Ballet Hispánico presents the Chicago Premiere of Doña Perón in two performances only at the Auditorium Theatre: Saturday, March 26 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 27 at 3pm.