BalletX Announces 2017-18 Season

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, has announced its 2017/18 Season. The company, in its 12th year of creating world premiere dance, has presented over 60 original works by choreographers from around the globe.  This season, BalletX continues to expand the vocabulary of dance by adding five more world premieres, including a live onstage musical collaboration, while also reviving two groundbreaking works from its distinguished repertory: Nicolo Fonte’s full-evening ballet Beautiful Decay (2013), and a surprise selection to be announced later this year. The 2017/18 Season will take place at The Wilma Theater, newly renovated and located on the bustling Avenue of the Arts in Center City, over the course of three series, including twelve performances each — Fall Series 2017 (Nov. 29-Dec. 10), Spring Series 2018 (Mar. 7-18), and Summer Series 2018 (Jul. 11-22). Subscriptions are on sale now.

“This season is going to be absolutely exhilarating!” says Christine Cox, BalletX Artistic & Executive Director. “We are bringing back Beautiful Decay, a ballet which touched all of our hearts. Plus we have an exciting lineup of world premieres by an extraordinary group of choreographers. These artists have impacted the field by captivating a whole new generation of dance audiences passionate for contemporary ballet while reminding longtime fans why they fell in love with the art form in the first place.”

BalletX kicks off the new season with its Fall Series, featuring the return of Nicolo Fonte’s Beautiful Decay. Inspired by a series of Mark Goleblowski’s 3-D photographs of exotic flowers, Beautiful Decay takes audiences on an intimate journey exploring the connection between memory and aging, intertwining the company’s ten dancers with two senior dance artists. BalletX is proud to announce that four of Philadelphia’s most prominent senior dancers will be joining the cast: original cast members Brigitta Hermann and Manfred Fischbeck, and new to the cast Brenda and Helmut Gottschild. Hermann and Fischbeck are co-directors of Philadelphia’s seminal Group Motion, a contemporary modern dance organization established in 1968 and recognized for pioneering the art form of multimedia dance theater, as well as a world-wide touring program, which has taken their company’s repertory to France, Argentina, Germany, Japan, Cyprus, Taiwan, Poland and Lithuania. Brenda Gottschild, a Professor Emerita of dance studies at Temple University and published author, regularly performs with her husband Helmut in a form of somatic and research-based collaboration for which they coined the term, “movement theater discourse.” Helmut founded Zero Moving Dance Company in 1972, his performance vehicle for twenty years, and held a twenty-eight-year career in Temple University’s dance department. The two couples will alternate nightly, taking turns performing over the course of the 12-performance run. In describing his thoughts on pairing BalletX with senior dancers, Fonte said the collaboration “instantly created a dynamic” that he could tap into to express his belief that “as we pass through the seasons of our lives… we will come, if we are lucky, to an ever-greater understanding of our inherent and unique beauty.” Hailed by The Dance Journal as “explosive, athletic dance,” and a “sophisticated meditation on the passing of time,” the work features original sets designed by Mimi Lien (Tony Award Winner, 2015 MacArthur Fellow) and music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Max Richter, and Olafur Arnalds. Fonte has won critical acclaim for his ballets created on companies across the world, including Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Finnish National Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet, among many others.

Two of today’s most celebrated choreographers, Trey McIntyre and Darrell Grand Moultrie, return to BalletX for a captivating bill of world premieres at the company’s Spring Series 2018. Trey McIntyre has created over 100 world premiere works on some of the world’s most prestigious companies, including Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet. His 2016 BalletX premiere Big Ones was set to the music of Amy Winehouse, and praised by The New York Times as “wacky, eccentric and fabulous.” Speaking about his return to BalletX, McIntyre said “I feel very lucky to be returning to make something new… Christine is leading a company that serves the community and the country by making dance that matters.” New York-based choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie has created work on many highly regarded companies, including Colorado Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Most recently, Moultrie was tapped to choreograph for Grammy Award winner Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter World Tour, one of the highest-grossing tours of the decade. Reflecting on his return to BalletX following his critically acclaimed 2012 work with the company Differences in Sections, Moultrie said “I look forward to deepening my relationship with BalletX and the passionate Philly dance scene.” The Spring Series will also feature a surprise piece from the company’s wide repertory.

Summer Series 2018 will feature a world premiere by Penny Saunders, winner of the 2016 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. The work will represent Saunders’ first world premiere on BalletX, after creating work on such companies as Whim W’him and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Saunders will collaborate with Rosie Langabeer, co-creator and composer of Sunset, o639 Hours, on the ballet’s score, to be performed live by Langabeer and guest artists. The choreographer and composer have begun communicating long distance between their respective homes in Salt Lake City, Utah and New Zealand via Skype. Although it is still early in the collaboration process, Saunders has said the two are currently discussing a ballet that explores “the psychology behind the need to capture time, whether it’s filming things or taking selfies; and the roles fate and free will play in our understanding of the fleeting nature of life.” BalletX co-founder Matthew Neenan also joins the Summer Series program. Recognized by The New York Times as “one of the strange originals of American ballet,” Neenan has hinted that his new ballet will center on a mysterious dinner party and the marriage of language and movement. Additionally, Neenan will mentor BalletX’s 2018 Choreographic Fellow, Andrew McNicol, who will also create a world premiere on the company to be performed at Summer Series. Chosen for the Fellowship from a competitive pool of international applicants, McNicol has created work for The New York Choreographic Institute and is described as “talented beyond his years” by Ballet News. Regarding the opportunity, McNicol stated, “I’m passionate about the balletic language… and looking forward to this Fellowship and mentorship to discover new possibilities.” The BalletX Choreographic Fellowship is generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation.

The 2017/18 Season also marks the return of BalletX’s popular Pop Ups, in which BalletX dancers perform signature company repertory in fun and unexpected, often outdoor spaces, in and around the city of Philadelphia. Pop Ups are free and open to the public. The program is made possible by the William Penn Foundation’s New Places/New Audiences effort to increase resident and visitor access to dynamic, high quality public art and to transform the experience of public spaces and community gathering places with art and creative expression. The first two Pop Ups will take place at The Porch at 30th Street Station on September 22 at 12:30pm, and at Fisher Park, September 23 at 1:00pm.

Season subscriptions and single tickets to BalletX’s 2017/18 Season are available online at http://www.balletx.org/ and by phone at 215-546-7824. For more information on BalletX Pop Ups visit: http://balletx.org/pop-ups/.


Fall Series 2017 at The Wilma Theater

  • Wednesday November 29 8:00 PM
    Pre-Show Q&A with Artistic Collaborators, 7:00pm
  • Thursday November 30 8:00 PM
    Post-Show Q&A with Choreographers
  • Friday December 01 8:00 PM
  • Saturday December 02 2:00 PM
  • Saturday December 02 8:00 PM
  • Sunday December 03 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday December 06 8:00 PM
  • Thursday December 07 8:00 PM
    Young Xers Night, 7:00pm
  • Friday December 08 8:00 PM
  • Saturday December 09 2:00 PM
  • Saturday December 09 8:00 PM
  • Sunday December 10 2:00 PM

Spring Series 2018 at The Wilma Theater

  • Wednesday March 07 8:00 PM
    Pre-Show Q&A with Artistic Collaborators, 7:00pm
  • Thursday March 08 8:00 PM
    Post-Show Q&A with Choreographers
  • Friday March 09 8:00 PM
  • Saturday March 10 2:00 PM
  • Saturday March 10 8:00 PM
  • Sunday March 11 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday March 14 8:00 PM
  • Thursday March 15 8:00 PM
    Young Xers Night, 7:00pm
  • Friday March 16 8:00 PM
  • Saturday March 17 2:00 PM
  • Saturday March 17 8:00 PM
  • Sunday March 18 2:00 PM

Summer Series 2018 at The Wilma Theater

  • Wednesday July 11 8:00 PM
    Pre-Show Q&A with Artistic Collaborators, 7:00pm
  • Thursday July 12 8:00 PM
    Post-Show Q&A with Choreographers
  • Friday July 13 8:00 PM
  • Saturday July 14 2:00 PM
  • Saturday July 14 8:00 PM
  • Sunday July 15 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday July 18 8:00 PM
  • Thursday July 19 8:00 PM
    Young Xers Night, 7:00pm
  • Friday July 20 8:00 PM
  • Saturday July 21 2:00 PM
  • Saturday July 21 8:00 PM
  • Sunday July 22 2:00 PM

BalletX Pop Ups

University City District The Porch at 30th Street Station
Friday, September 22, 2017 at 12:30pm

Fisher Park
Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 1:00pm

More Pop Ups to be announced soon.

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, unites distinguished choreographers with an outstanding company of world-class dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace. Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, and now under the direction of Cox as Artistic & Executive Director, 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.

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