Cayetano Soto, Choreographic Fellowship Mentor (Photo by Michael Slobodian)
Tommie-Waheed Evans, Choreographic Fellowship Fellow (Photo Courtesy of Tommie Waheed Evans)
BalletX is honored to announce Cayetano Soto as the company’s 2016-17 Choreographic Fellowship Mentor and Tommie-Waheed Evans as the 2016-17 Fellow! Each year, BalletX selects a fellow from an intensely competitive field of applicants, as well as a mentor, for the company’s Choreographic Fellowship Program. Generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation and currently in its second year, the program serves as an opportunity for emerging choreographers to set an original work on BalletX’s ten dancers with guidance by a highly acclaimed mentor. Both mentor and fellow will create new works for BalletX, to be premiered in their forthcoming Spring Series, April 26-30, 2017.
“The Choreographic Fellowship Program is an opportunity for BalletX to dive deeper into the process of creating new ballets that inspire and encourage choreographers to take risks in a nurturing environment. Support from the Wyncote Foundation helped launch this idea, and now we are in the process of building even more opportunities for choreographers to grow and learn here in Philadelphia,” says Christine Cox, BalletX co-founder, Artistic and Executive Director.
BalletX’s 2016-17 Choreographic Fellowship Mentor is the Munich-based choreographer Cayetano Soto, who has premiered numerous works in the U.S., Europe, and Canada on such renowned dance companies as the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Royal Ballet of Flanders, and Balé da Cidade de São Paulo. His ballets have proven to be highly technical, and often broach intense subject matter. Fugaz (2009) was written while his own father was dying of cancer. Uneven (2010) was meant to penetrate the state of Soto’s restless mind, “It’s like a session, like going to a psychoanalyst. When I see my piece, I psychoanalyze myself,” he explains. Cayetano Soto was most recently the 2015-16 resident choreographer at the highly acclaimed Ballet BC in Canada. He was the recipient of First Prize by Uncontainable Project 2006 for his piece 24FPS, and was awarded best dance production of 2008 by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo for his piece Canela Fina. The 2016-17 Choreographic Fellowship Mentorship represents Cayetano Soto’s second collaboration with BalletX, having presented his work Malasangre with the company in 2015. Cayetano Soto views the Fellowship as “a great opportunity to develop a conversation with the protégé about the creation of dance, and the place of the arts and ballet in our society.”
BalletX’s 2016-17 Choreographic Fellow is Philadelphia-based choreographer Tommie-Waheed Evans. He strives to create works, which highlight the interplay between the various elements of a dance, with special attention to the relationship between physicality and musicality. For over a decade, Evans worked as both a principal dancer and artist in residence for Philadelphia dance company PHILADANCO! He is currently an Artist in Residence and Master Lecturer for the University of the Arts, where he teaches both Contemporary Jazz and Modern Dance. His work strives to infuse jazz with traditional classical style, all while communicating important statements about social justice and his own African-American culture. He recently completed his MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University, where he holds the Howard Gilman Foundation Fellowship. Other awards and honors include The Ailey School Fellowship Award, the Philadelphia Rocky Award for Outstanding Achievement, and a Proclamation for Service from the Mayor of Los Angeles. Tommie-Waheed Evans completed his dance training at The Ailey School, Conjunctive Points Dance Center, and Lula Washington Dance Center.
The BalletX Choreographic Fellowship is generously funded by a grant from the Wyncote Foundation.
About BalletX: BalletX unites world-class choreographers with an outstanding company of professional dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace. Through the daring vision of its award-winning founders, Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX challenges the boundaries of classical ballet by encouraging formal experimentation while preserving rigorous technique. The company is committed to producing new works of the highest quality and integrity that bring the combined visions of choreographers and dancers to life and cultivate in audiences a collective appetite for bold new dance. For more information, visit www.balletx.org.