NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Monday night’s water main break on the Upper West Side not only flooded streets, it also severely damaged a dance company’s newly renovated space and even vintage costumes being held in the space.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer saw the damage firsthand and found out how the company is scrambling to make repairs in time for classes next week.
Ballet Hispanico, located on West 89th Street, was flooded in the basement and first floor following a water main break at 89th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
“There’s water just pouring out from the front doors,” Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director and CEO, said. “This is our Flamenco floor and this floor has been in this studio since the 70s.”
They’re hoping to save the original floor, but it may be a loss. Adding to their frustration, the entire first level of the building was renovated just a year ago. Studios down in the basement are where classes are typically held.
“This was full of costumes and now all of this has to go… everything here,” Vilaro said.
Thousands of costumes were damaged, Gainer reported.
“Four thousand costumes down in our storage area in the basement… a lot of them ruined,” Vilaro said. “Some of the costumes have been in existence since 1970. There were some Flamenco costumes that were handmade for the original company.”
The school office is also at a total loss.
“Kind of the heart of the building,” Director Ana Maria Correa said. “We worked so hard to get it to where it was.”
Organizing next week’s start of school for the 600 students who take class is now even more of a challenge. They’re working to put dance classes in temporary neighboring spaces, such as a school gym.
“Our staff down, but not out,” Correa said. “Now it’s about improv and we’re artists so we know how to improv.”
Ballet Hispanico used to store costumes in a facility in New Jersey, but when Superstorm Sandy hit and damaged the facility, lots of costumes were ruined so they started bringing them to the Upper West Side.
The company is asking the public for donations for anything insurance won’t cover. Find out how to donate here.