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BalletX to Present Spring Series April 4-11, 2009 at the Wilma Theater (Philadelphia)

by Inna Heasley
March 16, 2009
Wilma Theater
265 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.546.7824

Featured Dance Company:

BalletX
BalletX (mail)
P.O. Box 22713
Philadelphia, PA 19110-2713
215-280-4824
www.balletx.org

BalletX meets Dr. Seuss, Sinead O'Connor and Edwaard Liang at the Spring Series April 4-11, 2009.
PHILADELPHIA: Contemporary ballet company BalletX continues its tradition of redefining and expanding the vocabulary of dance with Spring Series running April 4-11 at The Wilma Theater.

BalletX presents a program of fresh choreography with Matthew Neenan's Wonder Why, and two world premieres: The Striped Hat by Christine Cox and a new work by Edwaard Liang in his first Philadelphia commission.

Christine Cox's The Striped Hat is inspired by her favorite childhood author Dr. Seuss. It is a colorful humorous production for the very young, the old and everyone in between. This ballet captivates the senses with vibrant costumes by Martha Chamberlain, interactive sets created by Pedro Silva (Momix and JUNK) and Denise Fike, with music from Mozart, Debussy and contemporary artists. Says Cox: "As a new mom, I am fascinated with the way my son is developing, how he moves and discovers his body. He brings so much joy and sunshine into my world and, as a choreographer, I want to reflect that love and laughter in my movement."

In the long-awaited collaboration with BalletX, choreographer Edwaard Liang makes his Philadelphia debut. Liang's world premiere is set to challenge the BalletX dancers and thrill the audience. Liang, a renowned choreographer, has danced with Nederlands Dans Theater and New York City Ballet and has recently created works for New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet and Morphoses the Wheeldon Company, to name a few. "I absolutely love, love, love to choreograph ballet," says Liang, "I like the travel, and I learn so much from dancer to dancer and company to company."

Danced to a compilation of little-known songs by Sinead O'Connor, Matthew Neenan's Wonder Why is a classic favorite. The piece first premiered in August 2004 by Phrenic New Ballet at the Arts Bank Theater and later was revived by BalletX at Dance Boom and Jacob's Pillow in 2006 to high acclaim. Wonder Why is undergoing its third reincarnation as Neenan updates the choreography to better showcase the strengths of the current cast.

Neenan comments: "My ballet and its title were originally inspired by "Letter to Artists," a beautiful manuscript written by Pope John Paul II in 1999." Neenan goes on to quote what he believes is the essence of the Pope's address: "May the beauty which you pass on to generations still to come be such that it will stir them to wonder!"

Performance Times:
Saturday April 4, at 8 pm | Sunday April 5, at 2 pm | Wednesday April 8 – Saturday April 11, at 8 pm.

Tickets: $30 General, $25 Student/Senior. On sale at the Wilma Theater Box Office, 265 S. Broad Street, by phone 215-546-7824 and at www.WilmaTheater.org. Groups of 10 call 215-546-7824 to save 20%. For more information visit www.BalletX.org.
BalletX Spring Series 2009 poster. Dancer: Tara Keating.

BalletX Spring Series 2009 poster. Dancer: Tara Keating.

Photo © & courtesy of Gabriel Bienczycki


Guest choreographer Edwaard Liang during rehearsal of his new work with BalletX.

Guest choreographer Edwaard Liang during rehearsal of his new work with BalletX.

Photo © & courtesy of Inna Heasley

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