Ballet Nepantla originated from a series of pláticas between founders Andrea Guajardo and Martín Rodríguez, two artists whose early professional identities emerged from distinct genres: Andrea from classical ballet and contemporary dance, and Martin from traditional Mexican folklórico. They envisioned a new form of expression that fused the two modalities, and they envisioned an aesthetic that would speak to the historical, cultural, and social realities of a broader narrative of being Mexican, Mexican American, immigrant, and trans-cultural.

Drawing inspiration from Gloria Anzaldúa’s borderlands theory, Andrea and Martín imagined they could create performances that spoke to the “in-between” qualities of being from both sides of the borderland. They found the idea of Nepantla, a Nahuatl term of the indigenous people of Mexico. Nepantla provides a historical, intellectual, and artistic framework through which to explore the “in-between” spaces of history and culture by exploring new artistic expression that fuses different traditions on stage. Thus, Ballet Nepantla was born in January 2017.