SAISD’s Highland’s High School serves as home for the NYC-based dance company
Ballet Nepantla, a New York City-based dance company, has made Highland’s High School’s newly renovated theater their home base during a month-long residency in June. The residency is made possible through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and support from the San Antonio Independent School District’s Fine Arts Department. Ballet Nepantla will create a new production titled “Mística” centered around dia de los muertos and as a tribute to those who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The production is expected to be completed during fall 2021.
Ballet Nepantla selected San Antonio as the location for their month-long residency. “San Antonio is like a second home to us,” says Andrea Guajardo, founder and artistic director of Ballet Nepantla. “We have many strong supporters here and we’re excited to bring our professional dancers into the schools to broaden student appreciation of the arts and develop their knowledge of dance, show production and performance,” she added.
“With its fusion of classical ballet and Mexican ballet folklórico, Ballet Nepantla is an amazing inspiration for SAISD students and encourages them to be proud of their culture, heritage, and identity” said Dra. Olivia C. Hernández, SAISD Assistant Superintendent for Learning, Language & Literacy. “Ballet Nepantla represents the culturally rich, top caliber performances that elevate fine arts in SAISD to develop critical thinking students who can interpret and communicate their own cultural and social realities.”
Highland’s High School students will have the opportunity to sit in on Ballet Nepantla rehearsals, participate in master classes, engage the performers in question-and-answer sessions and experience a performance.
Dr. Daniel Loudenback, SAISD Senior Executive Director for Fine Arts, noted that “Ballet Nepantla’s residency will provide the Highlands High School dance students a unique window into the lives of working professional artists. Their time together will make the possibility of a career as an artist in a culturally significant field become a more realistic possibility.
Ballet Nepantla will perform some of the dances from “Mística” for Highlands High School students on Tuesday, June 15. They will also give a sneak preview of their new show to a small group of potential supporters on Thursday, June 24 at Highlands High School’s Theater.
Ballet Nepantla will return to Texas in March 2022 with their current show “Valentina” as part of a 10-city Texas tour. They will perform in school districts, colleges and universities and Latino nonprofit arts organizations throughout the state.
Ballet Nepantla was founded in 2017 by Edinburg, Texas native Andrea Guajardo, a graduate of the prestigious Fordham/Ailey Bachelor of Fine Arts program in New York City. She toured with Momix, an international acclaimed dance company, prior to founding Ballet Nepantla and was awarded the 2020 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences for young artists. Martin Rodriguez is Ballet Nepantla’s co-founder and associate director. Originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Rodriguez was a principal dancer and choreographer with Grandeza Mexican Folk Ballet Company in Los Angeles prior to joining Ballet Nepantla. Follow Ballet Nepantla on FaceBook and Instagram for behind the scenes photos and videos for the premiere of “Mística.”