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New Victory Dance

Chapter 2

Dancer in Ballet Nepantla's Coco (from Sin Fronteras)

Ballet Nepantla

Coco (Excerpt from Sin Fronteras)

For everyone 8 and up

Veracruz is a Latin American gateway for two foreign cultures—the conquering European and the enslaved African—which fused with native indigenous culture to form the state’s unique mestizaje, or mix of races. In Ballet Nepantla’s Coco, you see Nepantla’s interpretation of mestizaje culture through a beautiful fusion of West African dance and Mexican folklórico.

Choreographed by

Argelia Arreola and Martin Rodriguez

Featuring dancers

Argelia Arreola, Maricarmen Betancourt, Christopher Cortez, Andrea Guajardo, Rafael Reyes Hernandez, Francesca Iannelli, Erick Modesto, Jorge Naranjo, Martin Rodriguez and Hannah Zin

Additional Credits

Hosted by
Patrick Ferreri

Sign Language Interpretation provided by
Hands On, Inc.

Interpreter Director
John McGinty

Sign Language Interpreter
Rick Rubin

Audio Description provided by
Laura H. Congleton

Archival video of Coco from Sin Fronteras
Filmed at Battery Dance

Learn & Engage

About the Company

Ballet Nepantla tells stories about Mexican and Mexican-American history and society using contemporary ballet, West African dance and Mexican folklórico. Fusing these styles, Ballet Nepantla expresses the experience of living in the in-between spaces, not only of dance styles but also of different times and cultures.

From the Choreographers
The state of Veracruz is a Latin American gateway for two foreign cultures: the conquering European and the enslaved African. Evident in the mestizaje (the mix of races), it fused a ternary part with native indigenous culture. In Ballet Nepantla’s Coco, you see Nepantla’s interpretation of mestizaje culture (cultural and ethnic blending) through a beautiful fusion of West African dance and Mexican folklórico.

Choreographer Bios
Argelia Arreola is a dancer, instructor and choreographer from Mexico specializing in contemporary, West African and Afro-Cuban dance. Argelia obtained a degree in contemporary dance from the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico, in 2009. Shortly after, she was a Fellow of the Scenic Creators and Young Creators of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts in Mexico. Argelia was a member of De Paso Grupo Escénico, in San Jose, Costa Rica, 2013. She was dance captain and choreographer for the Ensamble de Percusiones of Xalapa, Mexico, for nine years and professor at the School of Dance at Universidad Veracruzana 2010-2012. Argelia moved to NY in 2014. She is a member of the Afromexican band Jarana Beat and dances and choreographs for Ballet Nepantla.

Martín Rodriguez was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He began dancing folklórico at age nine at Academia de Danza Imagen, and through his adolescence took classes with various companies throughout Guadalajara. At an early age, he traveled with Academia to rural indigenous areas in Michoacán, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Colima and Jalisco to learn the traditional dances, culture and history of the local people. He later moved to Los Angeles, where in 2006 he joined Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company under the direction of José Vences and eventually became principal dancer, as well as instructor and choreographer. In 2016 Martín moved to NYC, where he now resides and directs and choreographs for Ballet Nepantla.

Watch a Talk-Back Video

Join choreographers Argelia Arreola and Martin Rodriguez, as well as Keerati Jinakuniphat from Chapter 1, as they answer questions about their work submitted by summer camp kids and families watching New Victory Dance.

Audio-Described Talk-Back

About New Victory Dance

A celebration of dance in all its forms, our annual summer dance series features exciting NYC dance companies alongside unique opportunities to see and engage in a wide variety of dance styles.

See lineup

Dancer in Ballet Nepantla's Coco (from Sin Fronteras)
Did you know?

Free arts programming like New Victory Arts Break and this year’s virtual New Victory Dance is just one way we make arts more accessible during this critical time. New Victory, powered by New 42, remains committed to creating quality arts education and engagement to broaden kids’ worldview through the performing arts.


New Victory Dance Supporters

New Victory Dance is supported, in part, by a generous grant from the Blavatnik Family Foundation in honor of Dawdie Appelson, a teacher, arts enthusiast and life-long supporter of the performing arts.

Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation | Howard Gilman Foundation | Harkness Foundation for Dance | Mertz Gilmore Foundation | public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council | the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature | The Jerome Robbins Foundation

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