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Ballet Hispánico Founder Tina Ramirez Dead At 92

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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — The New York dance company Ballet Hispánico announced the passing of their founding artistic director and dance legend Tina Ramirez. She was 92.

“Tina Ramirez was a bright light. She was an artist and activist who founded Ballet Hispánico to address structural inequities in the arts. From the moment I met her nearly twenty years ago, I knew I wanted to be part of the artistic movement she was passionately creating. Tina was fierce, brilliant, and completely her own person. She leaves behind a rich legacy of bringing dance, cultural connection, and transformation to students and communities throughout the world,” said Ballet Hispánico Board Chair Kate Lear.

“I met Tina in 1967 when Ballet Hispánico was in residence at PS 75. I cemented myself to her then. She was a true visionary, a passionate and tireless cultural and artistic leader who was way ahead of her time. She built a company from community roots into a world-renowned treasure. With education always at the core of her mission, she gave the gift of dance and Hispanic culture to generations. I count myself lucky to be among the countless people she influenced,” added Board Chair Emeritus Jody Arnhold.

“I am heartbroken by the news of Tina’s passing. Her legacy lives on not only in the extraordinary gift that she left the world, but in each and every person, child, artist and family member that she touched and inspired. We are all part of her legacy of access and cultural pride and will continue her mission to give everyone the right to find their bliss in dance,” said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO.

Born in Venezuela as the daughter of a Mexican bullfighter and grandniece to a Puerto Rican educator who founded the first secular school for girls, Ramirez was an internationally recognized dancer who studied ballet, modern dance, and ethnic dance at a time when there was little cross pollination between the forms.

During her career, she toured internationally with the Federico Rey Dance Company, the Broadway productions of Kismet and Lute Song and the television adaptation of Man of La Mancha, among others.

She founded Ballet Hispánico in 1970 and served as the company’s Artistic Director until 2009. During her tenure, she oversaw dozens of choreographers who created works for the company, including Talley Beatty, Ramon Oller, Maria Rivera, and William Whitener, among many others.

Ms. Ramirez is survived by her sister Coco Ramirez Morris.

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