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FringeArts – BalletX Offers Up Four Free Performances

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet and Resident Dance Company of The Wilma Theater, is participating in the 2014 Neighborhood Fringe Festival with three solo performances at Bridgette Mayer Gallery and a free public performance at The Porch at 30th Street Station. This marks BalletX’s second performance at The Porch, and the second consecutive year BalletX has been chosen as the non-profit beneficiary of Bridgette Mayer Gallery’s annual Benefit Exhibition. These performances reflect the company’s ongoing efforts to bring contemporary dance to all audiences and strengthen its ties with the Philadelphia community.

BalletX returns to The Porch on Saturday, September 6th at 5:00PM (with a rain date of September 10th) to perform beside 30th Street Station against the backdrop of the Philadelphia skyline. The full company will perform an hour-long program featuring signature BalletX repertory. Free and open to the public, this performance is part of a series presented by University City District (UCD), made possible with generous support from the William Penn Foundation, which has provided leadership support for UCD’s efforts to showcase innovative cultural programming at The Porch.

Bridgette Mayer Gallery’s 2014 Benefit Exhibition showcases the work of over 250 artists with local, national, and international roots. Each artist is provided with a ten inch square panel on which they will create paintings, photographs, collages, and sculptures. The artwork will be sold for $500-$2,000, with 20% of the proceeds benefitting BalletX. Last year’s Benefit Exhibition raised an impressive $17,000 for BalletX, which helped support the creation of three world premiere ballets for the company’s Fall Series 2013. This year, three BalletX dancers will perform intimate improvisational solos in the gallery space inspired by the work on display. These performances will feature live accompaniment by Murmuration, a classical chamber ensemble with pop influences based in improvisation, comprised of Andrew Marsh (vocals) Russell Kotcher (violin), and Eric Coyne (cello). Performances will take place at Bridgette Mayer Gallery, 709 Walnut Street: Tuesday, September 9th at 7PM, Friday, September 12th at 7PM and Sunday, September 14th at 1PM.

BalletX’s performances at The Porch and Bridgette Mayer Gallery are part of the 2014 Neighborhood Fringe Festival presented by FringeArts, which provides programming that creates a vibrant cultural experience unique to each Philadelphia neighborhood. BalletX’s Fringe performances are free of charge. Visit www.fringearts.com or call (215) 413-1318 to RSVP.

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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