BalletX Announces 2018-19 Choreographic Fellow Katarzyna Skarpetowska

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, led by Artistic & Executive Director Christine Cox, is thrilled to announce that Katarzyna Skarpetowska has been awarded the 2019 Choreographic Fellowship. Nicolo Fonte, who previously premiered his full-length works Beautiful Decay (2013) and Beasts (2015) on BalletX, will serve as this year’s Choreographic Mentor. Both fellow and mentor will present world premiere ballets on BalletX at Spring Series 2019 at The Wilma Theater, March 6-17, 2019.

“When the panel and I reviewed Katarzyna’s application, we were struck by the incredible depth and maturity of her work,” says Cox. “She is skilled at structuring physical, organic dances that explore diverse musical genres.”

Entering its fourth year, BalletX’s Choreographic Fellowship is generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation at the direction of David Haas.  Fellows are chosen from a wide range of national and international applicants. The fellowship offers one emerging choreographer each year the unique opportunity to create a world premiere on BalletX, under the guidance of an established, well-respected mentor, and with the institutional support of the company. One of the only programs of its kind in the country, this singular experience allows for a collaborative and stimulating process between the fellow, mentor and BalletX dancers, which the public is invited to observe and participate in through open rehearsals, artist panels, social media, performances, and more.

Katarzyna Skarpetowska, 2019’s Choreographic Fellow, started dancing at age 13 in her native city of Warsaw, Poland. The Juilliard School graduate enjoyed an extensive performance career, then transitioned into choreography as she worked as a repetiteur and assistant choreographer to Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons, and Robert Battle. Her choreography has been performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Buglisi Dance Theater, Hubbard Street 2, The Juilliard School, and more. In recognition for her choreographic efforts, she was named one of Dance Magazine‘s “25 to Watch” in 2016 and was nominated for a NY Dance and Performance Award, The Bessie, in the emerging choreographer category in 2017. Katarzyna is known for her sweeping, curvaceous, eloquent movement, and her work has been described as “weightless and mesmerizing” (Style Weekly), “visual poetry” (Oberon’s Grove), and “a breathe of fresh air” (The Dance Enthusiast). Learn more at www.skarpetowska.com.

2019 Choreographic Mentor Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to dance. Since 2000, he has created works for such prestigious companies as Dutch National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Perm Tchaikovsky Ballet, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, among many others. He has created two full-length ballets on BalletX, 2013’sBeautiful Decay, praised by The Dance Journal as “an evening of explosive, athletic dance,” and 2015’s Beasts, hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “wonderful, wonderful – and yet again – wonderful.” Fonte’s considerable breadth of work and experience makes him an ideal mentor, able to counsel and guide. “I look forward to being able to exchange ideas with the Choreographic Fellow and work cooperatively to realize their vision,” says Fonte. “There are always going to be challenges to working on a new piece with a new company. I am there to help them overcome those stumbling blocks and turn them into learning experiences to move forward creatively,” he states.

Join BalletX for Spring Series 2019 at The Wilma Theater, March 6-17, to see Katarzyna Skarpetowska’s and Nicolo Fonte’s world premieres, along with an East Coast premiere by Memphis Jookin star, Lil Buck. Subscriptions to BalletX’s 2018/19 Season are available now online at www.balletx.org, by phone at (215) 546-7824, or in-person at 265 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107. Single tickets will be available on October 1, 2018.

***photo by Brian Guilliaux