Hiplet Ballerinas bring innovative dance to Billings

Ballet troupe fuses pointe with African, Latin and hip-hop Feb 25

On Stage

On its first North American tour, Chicago-based Hiplet Ballerinas perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Lincoln Center in Billings as part of the Alberta Bair Theater’s season. General Admission seating is still available.

Founded by a former member of Dance Theater of Harlem, Hiplet (pronounced Hip-Lay) Ballerinas is the only company in the world to perform in this signature trademarked style, a fusion of classical pointe technique with African, Latin, hip-hop and urban dance styles rooted in communities of color. Promoting inclusivity in both their cast and audience, Hiplet features true-toned tights, modern music, and dancers of all shapes, sizes and colors in an Instagram-ready style.

Performances may incorporate the rhythms of African drums with Tchaikovsky, arabesques and beat-boxing or even Tango en pointe, all while showcasing Hiplet’s trademark sass, hip movements, and struts to popular music from Black Violin to Beyonce.

Since going viral in 2016, thanks to appearances on Good Morning America and Buzzfeed, the company has amassed over a billion views on YouTube, starred in a feature documentary, made a cameo in Shawn Mendes’ “Youth” music video, and performed across the world. The Hiplet Ballerinas are also often found in high-fashion campaigns from the runways of Paris Fashion Week to ads for Desigual and Swarovski Crystal. Their premiere tour will support the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center and the scholarships the studio provides.

As part of ABT’s Hip-Hop Project, dancers will lead three private workshops on stage on Monday, Feb. 24, with students who successfully participated in Project Hip Hop at their school. Additionally, there are two student matinees on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A second performance had to be added due to high demand from area schools. All are invited to attend the 12:30 truncated performance at the Lincoln Center. Tickets are $6 at the door.

Tickets to the evening performance are $37 and $20 for students with valid I.D., and are available by phone at 406-256-6052 and online at AlbertaBairTheater.org.