American Repertory Ballet (ARB) announces a unique collaboration with Mexican fashion design brand Pineda Covalin as part of its upcoming program at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, October 23 and 24. Pineda Colavin’s exquisite and vivid prints will become integral parts of the costumes and scenic projections for choreographer David Fernandez’s ballet titled Mexican Music.
Invited by Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel to make a new work for American Repertory Ballet, Fernandez envisioned a piece that would celebrate both the Company’s return to the stage – and his own Mexican heritage.
Fernandez immediately reached out to the team at Pineda Covalin, founded by Cristina Pineda and Ricardo Covalin.
“I dreamed that someday I would choreograph a ballet with costumes by Pineda Covalin. So when Ethan Stiefel commissioned me to make a ballet about Mexico, I jumped at the opportunity to make that dream a reality,” says Fernandez. “When I met with the Pineda Covalin team in Mexico City, I was thrilled that they gave me the green light to collaborate oncostume and projection designs. Dreams do come true when you are surrounded with creative and generous people.”
Also on the creative team is Janessa Cornell Urwin, costume designer and ARB wardrobe shop supervisor, who incorporated the Pineda Covalin prints into stunning dresses and shirts, blending dancewear with high fashion. “To showcase the prints as well as the choreography, I chose to create a sleek ballet aesthetic,” says Urwin. “We worked with a textile printer to custom make the fabrics before building the costumes.”
According to the designer’s website, Pineda Covalin was founded “in 1996 with the main objective of sharing with the world the wealth of Mexico, its traditions, cultures, and natural beauty represented on their designs. They exalt the cultural richness of Mexico through colors, patterns and forms, which allude to Huichol prints, the Monarch Butterfly, Day of the Dead and other traditions.”
Fernandez found yet more inspiration from music spanning the 1800s to 1940, choreographing to selections from Mexican composers Juventino Rosas, Ricardo Castro, and Jose Pablo Moncaya. The ballet opens with Rosas’ waltz “Sobre las Olas” (or “Over the Waves”), one of the most famous works worldwide by any Latin American composer.
In addition to Mexican Music, the ARB’s “Emergence” will feature Ethan Stiefel’s Wood Work, a piece created for The Washington Ballet in 2019. Set to music by the Danish String Quartet, Wood Work inspires a sense of joy and healing through seeking unique and individual paths, while feeling connected to one another.
Also on the program is Amy Seiwert’s World, Interrupted, which explores resiliency, hope, exhaustion, disruption – all shared experiences related to the ongoing pandemic; and Saudade, the first commission by ARB’s own Ryoko Tanaka, set to an original score by former ARB2 dancer Haley Wright.
“Our dancers are ready to get back on stage and do what they love: perform to a live audience,” says Stiefel. “For both the performer and the audience, there’s nothing like the connection and the energy that live performances inspire.”
Tickets start at $25. Student discounts are available. Visit arballet.org or call the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) ticket office at 732.745.8000.
Health and Safety Measures
The health and safety of our audience members, artists, and staff are of the utmost importance. Patrons attending a performance at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center must show proof of vaccination via a vaccine card, or through NJ’s Docket App. If not fully vaccinated, patrons must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance date. All patrons are required to wear masks at all times while inside the venue. This includes children older than 2 who have not been vaccinated. For more information about these guidelines, please visit https://nbpac.org/covid-health-safety/.
About American Repertory Ballet
American Repertory Ballet’s mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences and to students through artistic and educational programs. Founded as the Princeton Ballet Society in 1954, the organization now comprises: the preeminent professional ballet company in the state; Princeton Ballet School, one of the most established non-profit dance schools in the nation; and ARB’s Access & Enrichment initiatives, including the long-running and acclaimed DANCE POWER program. In July 2021, ARB welcomed its new Artistic Director, Ethan Stiefel. To learn more, visit arballet.org.