Frederic Chopin (“Nocturne #20 in C-Sharp Minor”, 1870


Margarita Armas


Lindsay Thomas


Christina Siemens


5 dancers


April 1, 2021; Pacific Northwest Ballet (digital release)

Program Notes

Second Solo Translation

When I opened my eyes and my lungs were filled with life, I never imagined that my world would rotate to the rhythm and beat of them:

She, a gringa with an Andean spirit, with the sweetness of a ñusta drawn in her smile.

He, a gentleman of fine appearance, with the cholo impetus that always makes Peruvian men proud. My parents, my foundation, my pillars.

Oh! That beautiful lady, who caressed and cared for me like a treasure, as if she knew that one day these words would flood the depths of my being, to show them how much they mean to me. My awicha kuyaiqui !!!

I grew up with the redouble of the marineras, the joys of a huaylarsh, the strength of the tuntunas, to the black rhythm of the cajon and the congas, I can say that all my life, music and dance was present, I carry it in my veins.

Today I dance with pride for you and I offer you what my family put in my mind, in my spirit and in my heart, today I dance for them and for them, my family, the most valuable Treasure that life gave me, my family.

Third Solo Translation

“From my powerful and at the same time sweet land of Peru, I departed from the heights of the Andes like the mighty Condor flying over the jungle (rainforest), valleys, meadows and rivers until I saw the imposing sea (grand) at the end of my kingdom, and I flew and school to this beautiful land where the love of my Peruvian heart turned me into a messenger dove of love and peace to tell you through my dance that all human beings in the world are brothers and sisters. “

I was inspired to use narration in my piece to share the three most important languages in my life; English, Spanish and the Incan language Quechua. I wanted to express this powerful message of understanding one’s identity through cultural exploration with the language of dance. I made the choice to create movement to interpret the writing so that the audience could capture the spirit from all three languages, especially Spanish and Quechua. ​The second piece was based on a musical score which I’ve always wanted to dance and choreograph to which is Chopin’s “Nocturne #20 in C-Sharp Minor.”

I collaborated with my family and friends, whom I grew up with, to help me describe my life experiences growing up as a second-generation Peruvian American. This includes the search for my unique identity and the pride I have in my indigenous background.

This is the first piece that has started my journey to sharing this very true and personal part of myself and my life through my work. Working during the pandemic was very different, but not as challenging as I thought it would be. Luckily, I got to work with an intelligent, talented and supportive group which made the process so much more enjoyable and inspiring.

I collaborated with a number of people. The first piece of writing was written by one of PNB’s PD1 students, Zsilas Micheal Hughes, and is read by Candy Hurtado Bonilla, who is a Peruvian artist and Executive Director of the Kuyayky Foundation. The second piece of writing is written by a very close family friend of mine, Flavio Travano, and is read by Yina Esmeralda Hurtado Bonilla, who is also a Peruvian artist with the Kuyayky Foundation. The third piece of writing was written by my uncle Miguel Sanchez and is read by Mariluz Hurtado Bonilla, who is a Peruvian artist with the Kuyayky Foundation.  Zsilas and I met through the PD program and we became roommates around the end of 2020. He is a professional writer. Thank you to University of Pennsylvania professor Américo Mendoza-Mori for his pronunciation assistance with the Quechua-speaking narrators.

My parents are Peruvian artists and introduced me to the Peruvian artistic community at a young age. This is how I know Candy, Yina and Mariluz. They now have a nonprofit organization called the Kuyayky Foundation to share their culture and music with the world. Flavio has been a friend in our family ever since I was a baby and danced with my parents for most of my childhood. My tio, Miguel, is one of the few people in my family who still speaks Quechua when he has the opportunity. 

I’d like to thank my family for introducing me to Peruvian Folklore art and the community. I feel if it wasn’t for growing up with such a cultural environment, I wouldn’t be as creative and driven as I am now. It’s a blessing to know such incredible people like the ones I collaborated with. My parents and grandmother,  being artists themselves, especially knew how important it was to nurture my artistic heart with music and dance from our own beautiful Peruvian and Andean culture. I’d also like to thank my friend Lucas Freeman, a former PD at PNB, for who helped me organize my ideas and inspire me to move forward with this whole piece.

Notes by Margarita Armas