Dance Magazine: BalletX is Taking All the Right Risks
By Lauren Wingenwroth
In a sensual, troubled duet to the music of Amy Winehouse, dancers Chloe Perkes and Zachary Kapeluck channel the late singer’s fraught relationship with fame, performance and love. They embody the haunting gravity of her story—while wearing enormous pairs of bunny ears.
On paper, Trey McInytre’s Big Ones sounds like it shouldn’t work. But risky choices are par for the course at BalletX, and this risk pays off. Founded as a summertime pickup troupe in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan when they were dancers at Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX is dedicated to performing new work—and lots of it. Its repertory boasts a whopping 76 world premieres in 14 years.
With just 10 dancers, it’s a model of what is possible for small contemporary ballet troupes—and it embodies many of the ideals that larger companies are striving for today. It commissions lots of women. Half of the company members are dancers of color. The work pushes ballet in new directions, whether through innovative story ballets or genre-bending collaborations. It’s deeply rooted in its Philadelphia community, and has fostered an open company culture rarely found in ballet.
And by embracing what Cox, the company’s artistic and executive director, calls “the good, the bad and the ugly” that comes with commissioning new work, BalletX has developed a daring, inventive repertory—and a national and international following.
Read the full article in Dance Magazine.
DDP Founder Liza Yntema helped underwrite BalletX’s latest world premiere, The Little Prince, choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Read Yntema’s interview with BalletX Artistic Director Christine Cox here!