English as a Second Language Vol. 2

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Kick off the holidays - salsa style!

It's no surprise that the Grammy-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra (SHO)'s upcoming show Salsa Navidad will inspire plenty of dancing. SHO's 13 world-class musicians and vocalists are masters of New York-style salsa dura---a genre that's inextricably linked with dance. (Band leader Oscar Hernández himself has been especially immersed with dance, having just completed the dance orchestrations for the new Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet!, which opened on Broadway earlier this month). What may seem surprising, at least at first glance, is SHO's collaboration with Ballet RED, an LA-based contemporary ballet company, instead of salsa dancers.

Ballet RED isn't your typical ballet company. Founded in 2000 by LA native Josie Walsh, the company prides itself in transcending artistic boundaries. For their collaboration with SHO, Walsh and her dancers have been combining salsa with traditional ballet. In one number, a dancer will be wearing one salsa/ballroom shoe and one pointe shoe... 

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