BalletX Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary With Summer Series 2010

Contemporary dance company BalletX marks its five-year anniversary with Summer Series 2010, opening July 21-25 at The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia.  The company presents world premieres by Matthew Prescott and Co-Artistic Director Matthew Neenan, as well as Risk of Flight by Adam Hougland which premiered in 2007.

Founded in June of 2005, BalletX has steadily followed its mission to produce original choreography that expands the vocabulary of classical dance for all audiences. “In the past five years we have produced over 40 works, and we like to think that they collectively helped the art form to grow and thrive in our time,” comments co-artistic director Christine Cox. “BalletX has established itself in Philadelphia as a company to watch, with more and more interest from dancers and choreographers  around the world.”

Since 2005, the company has worked with internationally renowned choreographers like Jorma Elo, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Adam Hougland, Edwaard Liang, Helen Pickett, Alex Ketley, and Thang Dao.  BalletX has also championed the local dance community with works by such acclaimed Philadelphia artists as Zane Booker, Meredith Rainey, Jodie Gates and Myra Bazell.

The Summer Series 2010 presents choreographer Matthew Prescott, who will create a highly energetic contemporary ballet, evoking a journey from dusk to dawn, set to lively selections from the Appalachian Journey compilation album by Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

“I am a product of all the experiences I have had in my career as a dancer and choreographer,” comments Prescott, who will also dance in the program’s two other works. “Even though my choreographer resume is not long, I am confident that I will be able to translate my unique perspective into a dance vocabulary of my own.” Prescott performed with the Joffrey Ballet, Morphoses (directed by Christopher Wheeldon), Complexions, and was featured in Robert Altman’s film The Company. His powerful debut with BalletX as a dancer in Summer of 2009 was called by the Philadelphia City Paper “a bolt of lightning.”

Matthew Neenan contributes a new work inspired by the wild street-parade sound of American indie-rock band Beirut. His ballet “slowly awakens like a city, part mysterious pageant and part raucous celebration.”  The 8-song sound track will include Elephant Gun, A Sunday Smile, and The Akara.  In addition to his duties as co-artistic director of BalletX, Neenan continues to serve as a choreographer-in-residence at the Pennsylvania Ballet

Adam Hougland’s Risk of Flight was premiered during BalletX’s first season as The Wilma Theater’s resident company in Fall 2007, and was hailed by critics as “staggeringly beautiful.” Set to the acoustic cello music by Zoë Keating, this ballet, according to Hougland, is about “stripping away the emotional armor we wear every day.”

“I am excited that BalletX is bringing this work back, and I am so curious to see how it will be with a new group of dancers,” Hougland said. “It is always fascinating to me how a different dancer can bring a completely different interpretation to the work and often show me something I didn’t realize was there!”

The Summer Series dancers include Colby Damon,  Tobin Delcuore, Laura Feig, Jennifer Goodman, Chloe Horne (Sacramento Ballet), Ian Hussey, Tara Keating, Anitra Keegan, Matthew Prescott, and  Kevin Yee-Chan.  Costume design by Martha Chamberlain. Lighting design by Drew Billiau.

Performance Dates/Times:

Wednesday, July 21 at 8:00 PM with post-performance Q-and-A session
Thursday, July 22 at 8:00 PM
Friday, July 23 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, July 24 at 2:00 PM with post-performance Q-and-A session
Saturday, July 24 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, July 25 at 2:00 PM

Tickets:
$30, Senior $25, Student $20 – on sale at The Wilma Theater Box Office,  215-546-7824 or at www.balletx.org.

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