Monday, November 30, 2009

Now Introducing...

At Art-Reach, a new Arts Partner is like a new best friend.  So, Art-Reach supporters, I would like to introduce you to our new best friend: BalletX, a modern ballet company in Philadelphia.  The company and Art-Reach are both very excited about BalletX’s pledge of 20 tickets to a Saturday matinee during the Fall ’09, Spring ’10, and Summer ’10 shows.

Even more exciting for us is that BalletX is not just any modern ballet company, but a modern ballet company out to “redefine ballet and bring it into the new century.”  This mission seems apparent if you watch video clips of past performances on the BalletX web site, where dancers in simple costumes and ballet renditions of classic children’s stories like The Cat in the Hat grace the stage.  But to really understand what BalletX is all about, I needed to talk to its members.

I was lucky enough to catch a few minutes with artistic co-director and founding member Christine Cox while she was busy preparing for the Fall ’09 show.  As Christine says, the understanding for BalletX is that “If someone is choreographing a work right now, it has to be about today.” In other words, though BalletX performances may speak the classical language of ballet, the speakers are modern dancers and choreographers with contemporary accents who draw on contemporary inspiration.

Also, “because it’s being created today, it’s easier for an audience to relate and connect to.” And connect they do.  As publicity coordinator Inna Lobanova-Heasley comments, “We love our audience!  It is a special breed, it seems.  They react during performances and their enthusiasm is very inspiring to the dancers on stage.  There is a big exchange of energy during any given show, which is just amazing.” 

At the time this article went to cyber-press, the BalletX team was working like mad to finish the Fall ’09 show, which premieres November 19 at the Wilma Theater.  Christine promised three pieces, one sensitive, one inspired by the ocean, and one inspired by classical music.  But Inna has one piece of advice for the audience: “Whatever they expect, they will always be surprised!”

-Alli Blum


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