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The daughter of a Puerto Rican woman and a Mexican bullfighter, Tina Ramirez, sees herself as "pan-Hispanic." Born in Venezuela, Ramirez came to the United States when she was 7 and has been at the helm of Ballet Hispanico since she founded the group in 1970.

Theatergoers in Colorado Springs can get a taste of the company's eclectic cultural heritage on Saturday, Oct. 20, when they perform at the Pikes Peak Center. The evening promises not only dance, but the full flavor of Latin culture in a highly theatrical, flamboyant show.

The performance, presented by the Colorado Springs Dance Theater, will feature three pieces: The first piece, Somethin' from Nothin', deals with overcoming human adversity. Choreographed by David Rousseve, the piece was inspired by a series of oral history recordings with former slaves. The score was composed by Latin Jazz artist and Grammy Award--winner Eddie Palmieri.

Eyes of the Soul depicts the great Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo, who was blinded by disease in early childhood. An example of the company's use of dance-story and music to convey Hispanic heritage, the piece explores Rodrigo's struggle to communicate the passion of all his senses through music, and reflects the arduous path of the creative spirit.

The evening will close with Club Havana, a period piece incorporating the flavor of the 1940s and '50s. It relies heavily on the Cuban mambo and cha-cha -- favorites all over Cuba and New York during that period, along with American jazz. The seductive hips and undulating torsos yield a romantic partnering of tradition and liberating improvisation.

Tickets run from $19 to $36, and the show starts at 8 p.m. Call 520-SHOW for more.

-- Kimberly Dark

  • Ballet Hispanico sashays its way to the Pikes Peak Center this Saturday.

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