BalletX, currently celebrating its fifth season as the resident dance company of Philadelphia’s renowned The Wilma Theater, will be heading on the road to New York City and beyond in 2012.
- Association of Performing Arts Presenters: January 7 at 8pm at Dance Gotham, NYU Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, Silt by Alex Ketley; showcase presentations, January 8 at 9:30am, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, 405 W. 55th Street, and January 8 at 2pm, New York City Center Studio, 130 West 56th Street.
- Laguna Dance Festival, April 13 to 15, The Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach, California; world premiere by Jodie Gates, Largo by Edwaard Liang, and The Last Glass by Matthew Neenan.
- Dance St. Louis: Spring to Dance Festival 2012, May 24 to 26, St. Louis, Missouri; excerpts from Gates’ world premiere.
- Gotham Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, NYC, June 2 and 3, Gates world premiere.
- Vail International Dance Festival, August 6 and 7, Vail, Colorado; world premiere by Neenan and excerpts from The Last Glass.
Founded in 2005, BalletX is an innovative and adventurous company that produces sophisticated and striking choreography by integrating athleticism, emotion, and intimacy. For more information, visit www.balletx.org.
The students of Andrew Jackson Public School in South Philadelphia were the inspiration for a BalletX world premiere, choreographed by co-artistic director Matthew Neenan and set to a score by Robert Maggio, during the company’s November performance series.
During a fall artist residency project at the K-8 school, Neenan, Maggio, and co-artistic director Christine Cox engaged the students in improvisation sessions, rehearsal participation, discussions about the students’ cultural influences, musical preferences, and personal aspirations. The students also had hands-on workshops in choreography and composition on stage with dancers and musicians.
Neenan collaborated with Maggio, a recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Pew Fellowship of the Arts, on the work as part of the first installment of “Inside the Mind of the Composer and Choreographer,” an education venture by BalletX funded by the Philadelphia chapter of the American Composers Forum. This performance marks Neenan’s and Maggio’s third collaboration following Le Travail (2003) for Pennsylvania Ballet and Vibrate (2005) for BalletX.
Also presented on the program will be the world premiere of Layer Cake by New York City-based choreographer Loni Landon and the return of Silt (2009) by San Francisco choreographer Alex Ketley.
Performances will be held November 16 to 20 at the Wilma Theater, corner of Broad and Spruce streets in Center City, Philadelphia. On-stage audience conversations with the artistic staff, choreographers, and company dancers will follow the November 16 evening performance and the November 19 matinee. Tickets are available at http://ticketing.theatrealliance.org/tickets/eventDetails.aspx?id=18701&org=wt.
For more information, visit www.balletx.org.
BalletX Summer Series 2011 marks its season finale with six performances July 20 to 24 at the Wilma Theater, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The program includes two world premieres: Castrati by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and a soliloquy among many by Roger C. Jeffrey. Ochoa returns from Amsterdam to create Castrati, which reflects on the phenomenon of singers castrated during the 16th to 19th centuries in Italy. The ballet is set to arias from Nicola Antonio Porpora’s Polifemo and Handel’s Rinaldo, as well as an original score by David van Bouwel.
Jeffrey, the founder and creative director of Subtle Changes, Inc., an artists’ collective in New York, makes his BalletX debut with a soliloquy among many, with music by Michael Nyman and French musician Colleen. Jeffrey will collaborate with fashion designer Loris Diran to create costumes for this premiere. Diran’s designs have been worn by actress Sarah Jessica Parker and singers Beyoncé Knowles and Ricky Martin, and were featured in the film The Devil Wears Prada.
Also on the program are the company premiere of It’s Not a Cry by Amy Seiwert, Smuin Ballet choreographer in residence, and BalletX’s first short film featuring dance by Gabrielle Lamb.
Tickets are $30 or $25 for seniors and $20 for students, and are on sale at The Wilma Theater box office, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, by calling 215.546.7824 or at www.balletx.org.
BalletX continues its free public series, Inside the Mind of a Dancer, an interactive lecture-demonstration for youth and families, with “Explore Your Imagination!” on April 16 from 2 to 2:45pm at The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia.
The series began as an educational outreach project in 2006. Co-artistic directors Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan will host this latest edition, which features live, improvised music by composer/accordion virtuoso Rosie Langabeer as Neenan creates movement in one-on-one work with company dancers.
BalletX, the resident dance company of The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, joins artistic forces with The Wilma for the first time to premiere Proliferation of the Imagination, an inter-disciplinary production combining ballet, spoken word, and live music.
Proliferation of the Imagination, inspired by the surrealist theater pioneer Guillaume Apollinaire, was developed by The Wilma dramaturg/literary manager Walter Bilderback and BalletX co-artistic director/choreographer Matthew Neenan.
A preview is set for April 12, with performances April 13 to 24 at The Wilma Theater. The production is presented as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) was an innovator in the theater of the absurd, a poet who took part in avant-garde movements in French literature. Bilderback said, “I don’t think it will look like anything most Philadelphia audiences have ever seen, especially the way we’re trying to combine dancers, actors, and musicians. I think audiences will be surprised at how amazingly fresh and unconventional Apollinaire is, despite being nearly a century old.”
BalletX dancers are Jennifer Goodman, Tara Keating, Anitra N. Keegan, Matthew Prescott, Colby Damon, and Gabrielle Lamb. The Wilma Theater actors are Mary McCool and Luigi Sottile. Musicians include composer Rosie Langabeer (accordion and keyboard), Josh Machiz (double bass), and Jesse Sparhawk (harp). Set design is by Obie Award winner Steven Dufala, costume design by Maiko Matsushima, and lighting design by Drew Billiau.
Tickets are $35 general admission, $30 for seniors, and $25 for students. To purchase, call 215.546.7824, or visit www.wilmatheater.org or The Wilma Theater box office, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia. For more information visit www.balletX.org.
The Philadelphia company BalletX will be bringing its signature brand of redefined classical dance to California in January.
Firmly rooted in classical ballet training and technique, BalletX brings a contemporary sensibility to the art form, infusing its work with a new vision of athleticism, emotion, and intimacy. BalletX reflects the vision of dancer/choreographers Matthew Neenan and Christine Cox, longtime dancers with Pennsylvania Ballet.
Performances are set for January 21 and 22 at 8:00 p.m. at the Temecula Community Theater, Temecula, and January 23 at 3:00 p.m. at the Cerritos Center for Performing Arts, Cerritos. Tickets are $25 adult, $20 senior, and $15 students and youth. More information is available at www.balletx.org.