Latin Ballet of Virginia uses dance to advocate for the environment

Posted at 1:04 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 13:37:36-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The Latin Ballet of Virginia is working on an important routine for an upcoming show. It’s something the dancers hope will advocate and promote improvements in societal attitudes of bees.

"What is happening right now is that animals are disappearing. Bees are disappearing. And if they disappear, we will disappear in four years,” said Ana Ines King, who is the founder and artistic director of the Latin Ballet of Virginia (LBV) located in Glen Allen.

The name of the performance is called, "El Beso De La Abeja," spanish for “The Kiss of the Bee.”

The choreography combines contemporary dance, with authentic Spanish flamenco, along with ritual dances from South America, and Caribbean dance techniques.

"The part of dance and music and arts is so important. It's the most important part of culture and it's tied with history and geography of our countries,” said King.

Latin ballet is not like classical ballet; how does it differ?

"We take care all of our ballet training, but we also get to use our salsa style, our bachata. We infused those things together," said Adelle Broom, who is a dancer and instructor at LBV.

”The guys are moving their upper bodies, their torsos, and the women are doing this flamenco dance and it's from the ground up, and you hear all this rumbling. Everything about the human body and human experience is on stage," added Glen Lewis, who is also a dancer and instructor at LBV.

King says instructing, dancing, and performing has always been a part of her life.

She taught at VCU for 14 years, and started the Latin Ballet in 1997 which is located at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center.

King along with a dozen other faculty members, now teach about 400 students of all ages per year in a variety of ways.

"We teach the Spanish language through dance, English as second language through dance, we also teach dance as therapy for children that are autistic, and we also teach dances for the environment,” said King.

It’s a subject dear to King's heart as well as her colleagues. Many of the Latin Ballet of Virginia's shows have been based with messages concerning our environment.

"We really want to do something that really leaves when you leave the performance you actually go, hey! I want to do something to change something,” said Broom.

"The environment is really important. We should take care of it! So that is the importance of bees, honey, and the small animals that exist here are really the most important things,” Lewis added.

It’s a message King says she will continue to stress.

Her hope and goals for those who do come see The Kiss of The Bee is to remember this:

"If they don't exist, the animals won't existence because the pants will disappear too. People are not conscious of that, so we need to be conscious of that," she said.

Kiss of the Bee has been rescheduled for May 28 through the 31, however that date is pending. If you have already purchased a ticket for the original performances scheduled for the weekend of March 20, it will be honored.

Watch Rob Desir's "Our RVA" reports Wednesdays on CBS 6 News at 4 and 5:30 p.m. If you know someone Rob should feature, email him at Rob.Desir@wtvr.com

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