Director’s Cut: Eduardo Vilaro


Welcome to Director’s Cut, a fresh series of snappy, engaging interviews with ballet artistic directors all across the country. These micro-interviews blend ballet insights with get-to-know-you questions for a quick yet meaningful peek behind the ballet curtain. Whether you want to learn about a dream song to choreograph to, or the best place to grab a bite post-ballet performance, you have come to the right place.

We’re delighted to share this conversation with Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico. Born in Cuba and raised in New York City, Eduardo Vilaro moved to Chicago to pursue a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College after performing with Ballet Hispánico for nine years. In 1999, he founded Luna Negra Dance Theater, dedicated to showcasing the richness and diversity of Latino culture. Vilaro returned to Ballet Hispanico in 2009 to succeed its founder, Tina Ramirez, as Artistic Director.

Favorite Ballet Step?

My favorite ballet step is the Temps De Cuisse, you bring one foot in front of the other and you brush the foot and they come together again.

Best local restaurant to visit after a performance?

Best local restaurants are any of the Quality Restaurants near City Center; but my favorite is Quality Italian, and they have the most remarkable chicken parmigiana pizza.

Dream song to choreograph to?

A dream song to choreograph, I actually have done that already, but I will say I just finished a work, Buscando a Juan, and the music by Osvaldo Golijov, his Saint Mark’s Passion, was everything to me.

Essential pre-show ritual?

My essential pre-show ritual is get ready, zhuzh, have a light meal, and always a glass of wine before the show.

Book you last read?

The last book I read is Mary Magdalene Revealed by Meggan Watterson, which tells the story of the gospel by Mary Magdalene, which most people don’t know about.

Hobbies outside of ballet?

Outside ballet and dance, my hobby is I’m a birder – I love birds, watching them and photographing them.

App you can’t live without?

My Calendar, Microsoft Calendar, I can’t live without it, it’s life! Spotify. 

What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a kid?

You know, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an artist, so it is something that I wanted to be and something that I’ve achieved, it’s just glorious.

Ballet dancer from the past that you wish you could go back in time to see?

I would’ve loved to have gone back in time and seen Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn do anything, any pas de deux, any ballet.

Career milestone before becoming Ballet Hispánico's Artistic Director and CEO?

Before becoming Ballet Hispánico’s Artistic Director, my milestone was building my own organization: Luna Negra Dance Theatre in Chicago.

Alanna Love is a writer based out of Boise, Idaho. She revels in tracing the thread of beauty woven throughout daily life, especially when it is found in ballet, literature, or historical wardrobing.
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