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Christopher John Rogers & Esteban Cortázar, NYC Ballet


Cortázar worked with Miller and Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta, the company’s first-ever woman of color to compose an original piece of music for the ballet, titled “sky to hold.” Drawing on the themes of freedom and vibrancy, Pimienta injected rhythms from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Colombia like vallenato and cumbia, while Miller, who comes from modern dance world, choreographed her first ballet on pointe while challenging the ballet dancers to perform out-of-this-world contortions that disrupted the traditional positions of classical ballet. To that end, Cortázar made costumes that felt organic and light: “I didn’t want to overcostume them,” said Cortázar. “It’s a gorgeous story that grows little by little and it has peaks and crescendos and lots of excitement.” Each part of the piece is marked by a different color, exhibited through lighting, set design, and, of course, costumes. To convey the emotions in each section, the designer created delicate, flowing dresses and bodysuits in ombre blends of orange, blue, and yellow that soared through the air as the dancers leapt and turned. One section, which focused on one-on-one human connection, contrasted the yellow-and-orange bodysuits worn by dancers on stage with their shadows blending through a projector in the background, an effect only made possible by the subtlety of Cortázar’s bodysuits. 

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