Best Dance Choreography Award

We are thrilled to announce that our film “Merope,” directed by Juan Carlos Zaldivar and produced by Winifred Muench and Christel Veraart, has won the award for “Best Dance Choreography” at the New York International Film Awards. A resounding applause and heartfelt congratulations are in order for our exceptionally talented dancer and choreographer, Jordan Pelliteri. Jordan’s ability to infuse her choreography with narrative depth and thematic resonance is truly remarkable. With every performance, Jordan exhibits unparalleled grace, precision, and emotional depth.

As we celebrate the success of “Merope” and its recognition at the New York International Film Awards, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the incredible team of artists and collaborators who helped bring this film to life. NYIFA® – New York International Film Awards – is a monthly film and script competition held in the heart of Manhattan, New York City, every three months. Their mission is to celebrate filmmakers and films from around the world, serving as the next step in their career journey.


The short film, “Merope”, follows a personification of the hidden star on a journey towards emancipation from the ties that historically have bound her and her six sisters, the Pleiades constellation, in a narrative about captivity and victimization, towards a new story where she claims visibility and a more authentic place in the universe for her and her sisters.

Merope and her sisters, the Pleiades constellation, live in space, void of time and idiom, yet —for centuries— they have inspired artists to create myths, music and performances, which have infused in us a search for universality among our often divided world. In this original anthropomorphization of Merope, the producers use the film medium itself to create the first iteration of Sedona Ballet’s Reflections Festival, inviting many artists across several arts disciplines —Photography, Music, Spoken Word and Visual Arts—to donate or create works inspired by Merope in one of the most beautiful places – Sedona.

All works were then orchestrated under the direction of filmmaker and visual artist, Juan Carlos Zaldivar, underscored by Christel Veraart’s mesmerizing musical composition from a longer musical composition entitled “Pleiades”. In an eternal search for universality, Merope presents herself simultaneously as film and festival. Combining all the arts, she transports us to a universal place, to provide the perfect fertile ground for the authentic YOU. 

It is and has always been our mission to showcase world-class dance performances on stage, making all forms of dance accessible, relevant, and inviting to a diverse audience. Additionally, we aim to deepen public appreciation and support for dance, enriching the cultural life of Sedona and Northern Arizona. We believe in the power of dance to connect people and cultures, presenting it as a means of expression, entertainment, and education. Through our performances and programs, we inspire and engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds, fostering a vibrant dance community in Sedona and Northern Arizona.