Robert Mirabal, Jock Soto team up again for 'Sacred Journeys III' at NHCC - Albuquerque Journal

Robert Mirabal, Jock Soto team up again for ‘Sacred Journeys III’ at NHCC

Robert Mirabal, center, and Jock Soto, right, perform as part of “Sacred Journeys III.” The pair are part of the driving force behind the production. (Courtesy of Pat Berrett)

Jock Soto and Robert Mirabal have worked together in the past.

This is exactly the reason Patricia Dickinson Wells teamed them up again for “Sacred Journeys III.”

Dickinson Wells says the production was supposed to be done in April 2020 – then the pandemic happened.

Then it was put on the schedule for April 2021 – not happening again.

“It’s April and we’re able to present it,” she says.

Dickinson Wells is the leader of Festival Ballet Albuquerque and she teamed up with the National Hispanic Cultural Center to present “Sacred Journeys III,” on Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24.

The piece features classical and contemporary dance combined with the eclectic music of Mirabal, a two-time Grammy award-winning Taos Pueblo musician.

The music is a reflection of New Mexican cultures through dance, music and spoken word. Mirabal collaborates with Festival Ballet Albuquerque’s artistic director Dickinson Wells and with internationally renowned New York City Ballet dancer Jock Soto, of Navajo and Puerto Rican descent. Soto, who is originally from Gallup and will also make guest appearances onstage. Soto lives in Eagle Nest.

Festival Ballet dancers participate in “Sacred Journeys III,” which will be on stage at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. (Courtesy of Pat Berrett)

Dickinson Wells brought in additional choreographers for the production.

They are native New Mexican Dominic Guerra and internationally known Vladimir Conde Reche, a native of São Paulo, Brazil.

Additional guest artists include the Trujillo Family traditional Native American dancers.

“We wanted to round out the entire performance,” she says. “It’s important for this journey to move forward from the last two.”

Dickinson Wells says before the first “Sacred Journeys” was done a few years ago, she did a three-camera shoot of one of the performances.

“The idea would be the basis of a documentary,” she says. “What we’re doing with Robert’s music. When the pandemic hit, we took that footage and turned it into ‘Sacred Journeys II.’ I submitted it to a couple of film festivals and we made it to the Red Nation International Film Festival.”

Dickinson Wells says because the film festivals were virtual, the film was seen by many all over the world.

This is why she wanted to create a new chapter with Soto and Mirabal.

“There are two new works and some of the older pieces are being rechoreographed,” she says. “We began working on the pieces via Zoom. We worked with two dancers who kept a very small bubble. I never thought we’d have to take this route, but here we are. It’s amazing that it’s going to be on stage in front of a live audience again.”

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