BalletX makes its Annenberg Center debut (Metro)

October 5, 2017

By Kyle Hiller

If you love Amy Winehouse, you’ve got to check this out.

BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, makes its triumphant debut at the historical Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Performing on Friday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7, it includes three company favorites in the program. In celebration of more than 60 world premieres and international recognition, artistic director of the Annenberg Center of Performing Arts, Chris Gruits, couldn’t be more honored to host BalletX.

The debut program features “Big Ones” by Trey McIntyre, featuring a score of all Amy Winehouse music. “Gran Partita” by Jorma Elo is inspired by the visual style and lighting design of Orson Welles’ film-noir classic “Touch of Evil.” “Malsangre” by Cayetano Soto features music by the “Queen of Latin Soul,” La Lupe, and is an ode to the seekers, people and artists who don't meet society's expectations.

“We've always been the home of groundbreaking and diverse artistry,” Gruits says of the Annenberg Center. “We're very focused on not only bringing the best the dance world has to offer to our city, but also representing diverse voices that are shaping the arts today.”

Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX challenges the boundaries of classical ballet by encouraging formal experimentation while preserving rigorous technique, changing the way we look at ballet in the 21st century.

Cox, who grew up in West Philadelphia, calls this a homecoming. She’s enthralled to have BalletX in a new theater and “bring in an all-new audience to experience our unique performances.”

With three annual performance series in Philadelphia, BalletX has reached diverse audiences of all ages and backgrounds as the Resident Dance Company of The Wilma Theater. They’ve performed in prestigious venues from New York City to California and all the way to South Korea.

“Ballet X is really one of the finest newer dance ensembles in the country,” Gruits assures. “We're so lucky to have them in Philadelphia.”

He made the case for Annenberg’s Zellerbach Theatre as the ideal place to see the troupe in action.

“Our sight lines and stage are perfectly suited to this type of performance.”