BalletX presents pieces compelling and athletic

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By Ellen Dunkel, For The Inquirer

On its own, Le Baiser Inevitable, the new ballet Jodie Gates choreographed for BalletX, is visually compelling, powerful, beautiful.

But there’s no getting around the fact that it was set to Ravel’s Bolero, an extremely well-known piece of music that is loaded with sensuality, emotion and expectations – in this case, expectations unmet. Bolero builds on relentless repetition of a rhythmic phrase, and because choreography is often considered a visual representation of music, one expects the steps to follow suit.

However, Le Baiser Inevitable, which had its world premiere Wednesday night at the Wilma Theater, does not have a through line or a set of distinctive phrases that shows up again and again. Nor is the piece particularly sensual or even romantic (despite the fact that it ends with the “inevitable kiss” of the title).

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