BalletX Summer Series 2011 Brings Together Dance, Fashion and Film

BalletX Summer Series 2011 marks its season finale with all new choreography, July 20-24 at The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. The program brings two world premieres: Castrati by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and a soliloquy among many by Roger C. Jeffrey; a company premiere of It’s Not a Cry by Amy Seiwert; and BalletX’s first short film featuring dance, by Gabrielle Lamb.

Award-winning choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa returns from Amsterdam to create Castrati, reflecting on the phenomenon of the castrated singers during the 16th-18th century in Italy. Fascinated by the lives of these men, who were maimed in the name of art, Ochoa uses aspects of their existence as the source for the creation process for the piece. The ballet is set to arias from Nicola Antonio Porpora’s Polifemo and  Handel’s Rinaldo, as well as original score composed by David van Bouwel, Belgium. Costumes will be designed by Aviad Arik Herman, a dancer with Gothenburg Opera Ballet.

An internationally acclaimed choreographer, Ochoa has worked with numerous companies worldwide, including The Scapino Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, Ballet du Grand Theatre du Genève, Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet Hispanico, the Gothenburg Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet.

In his BalletX debut, choreographer Roger C. Jeffrey premieres a soliloquy among many, a vibrant, stylish work with music by Michael Nyman and French musician Colleen. Jeffrey said: “My new work explores a free-spirited individual in a close-knit community who does not subscribe to its tenets. The quest begins: does the individual teach the village or will the village embrace the individual as its own? This journey exposes the power of our spirit and our ability to fight fear and distribute kindness to one another.”

Roger C. Jeffrey is the founder and creative director of Subtle Changes, Inc., an artists’ collective in New York. He has performed with Bernice Johnson, Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, and with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, among others.

Mr. Jeffrey will collaborate with internationally acclaimed fashion designer Loris Diran to create costumes for this premiere. Diran’s designs have been worn by Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce Knowles, Ricky Martin and were featured in the film The Devil Wears Prada.

BalletX premieres It’s Not a Cry, a pas de deux by San Francisco-based choreographer Amy Seiwert. Named one of the “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2005, Seiwert is Smuin Ballet Choreographer in Residence and Artistic Director of Amy Seiwert / im’ij-re, based in San Francisco, CA.

It’s Not a Cry was originally choreographed for the Sacramento Ballet in 2009 and hailed “achingly beautiful” by the Orange County Register.  Set to Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, this is a compelling portrait of a relationship that explores the passing of strength between the partners during dark times.

Gabrielle Lamb presents a film that explores the dreaming mind of dancers. What do they dream about at night? Gravity defying jumps?  Never-ending pirouettes?  Working with the  BalletX dancers on dream journals, choreography, structured improvisations and spoken text, Lamb navigates through the bizarre and colorful world of their dreams to create a one-of-a-kind film collage.

Lamb (who danced with BalletX in Proliferation of the Imagination in April 2011) is a self-taught filmmaker and animator based in New York. Her work has been screened at American Dance Festival, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center.

BalletX welcomes Adam Hundt, Barry Kerollis and Jesse Sani who join company dancers Colby Damon, Laura Feig, Chloe Horne, Tara Keating, Anitra N. Keegan, and Jaime Lennon.

Performance Dates/Times:
Wednesday, July 20 at 8:00 PM, with post-performance Q-and-A
Thursday, July 21 at 8:00 PM
Friday, July 22 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, July 23 at 2:00 PM, with post-performance Q-and-A
Saturday, July 23 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, July 24 at 2:00 PM

Tickets: $30, Senior $25, Student $20, on sale at The Wilma Theater Box Office,  265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, 215-546-7824 or at www.balletx.org.

The premiere work by Roger Jeffrey is made possible with the support of a grant from Jerome Robbins New Essential Works (NEW) Program and matching fund from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Summer Series 2011 is also made possible by the support from the William Penn Foundation,  Suzanne F. Roberts Cultural Development Fund, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

About BalletX
Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX is an intensely innovative and adventurous company that produces sophisticated, striking choreography, expanding the vocabulary of classical dance for all audiences. Recognizing the synergistic power of artistic collaboration, BalletX taps into the creativity and passion of a diverse pool of choreographers. The outcomes are often surprising and compelling. For more information visit BalletX.org or call 215.917.1513.

***poster design: Modern Good, dancer: Laura Feig

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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