Ballet Nepantla

March 28, 2023 - Dancers conveying the stories and identities of Mexican Americans through a combination of ballet and folklorico will present a free public performance in Oxnard and a master class for CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) and Oxnard College students.

Ballet Nepantla will perform “Valentina” on Thursday, April 13, at 6 p.m. in the Oxnard College Performing Arts Building (PAB). The master class for Dance Studies majors at CSUCI and Oxnard College students will be held the morning of April 13 at the University in Camarillo. 

“Too often, art produced and performed by people of color is invisible, and the opportunity to offer this folklorico ballet performance to the community pushes back against that trend,” said CSUCI Vice Provost Jessica Lavariega Monforti. 

Founded in 2017, New York City-based Ballet Nepantla fuses Mexican folklorico with contemporary ballet to reflect what it is like to be Mexican, Mexican American, immigrant and transcultural. “Nepantla” translates to “in-between spaces,” a fitting description of the company’s performances, in Nahuatl, the language of Indigenous people of the Valley of Mexico. Ballet Nepantla bridges borders to move the human spirit from places of conflict and contention to those of peace of enlightenment. Andrea Guajardo, a classical ballet and contemporary dancer and choreographer from the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, and Martín Rodríguez, a native of Guadalajara who began dancing folklorico at the age of 9, founded the company. 

“Valentina” is a collection of stories that speak to the strength and resilience of women during the Mexican Revolution. The original work explores topics including wealth and power, hope and despair, and struggle and triumph.

Ballet Nepantla’s visit coincides with the inaugural year of CSUCI’s Dance Studies major, which focuses on styles that developed in North America such as jazz and hip-hop. 

“Our program focuses on the transmission of culture through dance.” said Heather Castillo, Associate Professor of Dance Studies who helped launch the major. “This performance and master class are valuable opportunities for our students to see how Ballet Nepantla has fused Folklorico dance with contemporary movement expression.” 

The performance is being presented as part of Oxnard College’s arts and lecture series that brings dynamic and inspiring speakers, artists and entertainers to their campus each month.

“We’re proud to have Oxnard College’s free community event series, OC LIVE, host Ballet Nepantla,” Acting President Oscar Cobian said. “Our OC LIVE events are designed to educate and entertain families so we’re especially looking forward to an evening of dance and tradition from these incredible performers.” 

American Sign Language interpretation will be provided. No tickets are necessary. Oxnard College is located at 4000 S. Rose Ave. For more information, email

The University encourages people with disabilities to participate in its programs, events and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the respective area below as soon as possible, but no later than seven business days prior to the event/activity: 

CSUCI Students
Disability Accommodations & Support Services:

CSUCI Employees
Christine Girardot:

Members of the Public
Title IX & Inclusion:

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