Wynwood Walls Inspire Miami City Ballet and Justin Peck
Commissioned to create a new dance for Miami City Ballet, Justin Peck ran up against a wall — many, in fact. Lucky for him, these loomed among the ones with vibrant colors and suggestive figures that have turned the streets of Wynwood into an open-air art museum, a source of inspiration for the 27-year-old choreographer whose still brief but notable career includes a cache of critically-acclaimed ballets.
Shepard Fairey’s contribution to Wynwood Walls had a special impact on Peck. He endorsed recruiting the famed muralist to paint the backdrop for Heatscape, the world premiere in “Points of Departure,” MCB’s last program of the season.
“Shepard’s work translates well into a theater setting,” explains Peck. “It helps create a whole stage environment.”
This visual contribution draws from the iconography and palette identifying Fairey — well-known for the ObamaHope poster — as a socially-engaged purveyor of undismissable images. But for Heatscape, the artist made sure to block colors and simplify outlines so as not to interfere with the dance. The graphic complement gives a sense of place and aids in delineating the performers in the trace of their energy, thus supporting one of Peck’s primary goals.