BalletX Receives New National Funding To Commission Two World Premieres


Photo by  Bill Hebert/BH Photos: BalletX dancers Colby Damon and Laura Feig
in the world premiere performance of “Beside Myself” by Tobin Del Cuore.

BalletX, a contemporary dance company, is creating and presenting two World Premieres thanks to support from The Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program, directed by Damian Woetzel, and a matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“BalletX has made its mark in the world of contemporary dance, and we’re excited to help spread its work to engage new audiences,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for Knight Foundation.

This first-time support from the national funders outside of the Philadelphia region enables the company to commission two new works by accomplished choreographers: Chicago-based Tobin Del Cuore (“Beside Myself,” premiered by BalletX on November 17, 2010) and New-York based Roger Jeffrey (to premiere in the Summer Series, July 20-24, 2011).

Specifically, the grants, totaling $50,000, will help BalletX to achieve new artistic and financial goals:

–        Increase recognition of BalletX within the Philadelphia region and within the field of dance, attracting wider audiences of a new level of diversity;
–        Add depth and richness to the company’s repertoire;
–        Enhance understanding of new works and of contemporary ballet through free public sessions;
–        Gain visibility for additional support from local and national funders;

“We commission ballets from all over the country and the world. We perform all over the country and the world. Now we are attracting major support, too, from beyond Philadelphia. That’s growth!” Andrew Chirls, president of the Board of Directors, said. Co-artistic director Christine Cox added: “This funding is a stamp of approval from two very prominent foundations, it supports our mission to create new works that reflect the vision of today’s choreographers.”

With support from Knight Foundation and The Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program, BalletX is encouraged to undertake new bold and creative artistic approaches to make dance more attractive and accessible to expanded diverse audiences.

About BalletX

Founded in 2005, BalletX produces original choreography that expands the vocabulary of classical dance for all audiences, demonstrating the endless possibilities of ballet by commissioning daring work danced by world-class talent. While firmly rooted in rigorous, 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.

About The Jerome Robbins New Essential Works (NEW) Program

The Jerome Robbins NEW Program seeks to support crucial dance elements during the current financial crisis. In the belief that new work must be created to help dance companies and dance as a field remain a viable and relevant part of the American arts sector, the NEW Program provides for the commissioning of new dance works and endeavors to foster networking of these new works amongst dance companies and presenters to engage a larger audience.

About John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. The Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change.

About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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