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Inna Heasley
Arts and Education
Press Releases
Wilma Theater
United States
Philadelphia, PA

BalletX presents Matthew Neenan's "Right To Spring"

by Inna Heasley
March 5, 2008
Wilma Theater
265 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Featured Dance Company:

BalletX (mail)
P.O. Box 22713
Philadelphia, PA 19110-2713

World premiere opens at The Wilma Theater March 26-30, 2008
Contemporary dance company BalletX continues its highly successful inaugural season 2007-2008 as the resident dance company of The Wilma Theater and presents the world premiere of "Right To Spring", with five shows running March 26-30: Wednesday – Saturday, March 26-29 at 8 pm, and Sunday, March 30, at 2 pm. Tickets are on sale now at The Wilma Theater Box Office, 265 S. Broad Street, 215.546.7824 or at www.wilmatheater.org (General $25, Student/Senior $20). Right To Spring runs with no intermission.

Right To Spring is a one-hour ballet choreographed by Co-Artistic Director Matthew Neenan. The choreography embodies the essence of winter giving way to spring. After a long dormancy, the world reawakens and bursts forth with new life. The collaborative work aims to capture that process: the changing of the seasons and how we react to it, mentally and spiritually. Co-Artistic Director Christine Cox states: "Right To Spring is a chance for us to celebrate a time of year that transforms our soul and allows us to explore the process of change and growth."

The music will vary from classical to rock and will feature an original score composed, arranged and performed live by Matthew Pierce (of the Lake Trout band) joined by band members Mike Lowry and James Griffith. This is the first production with live music for BalletX at The Wilma Theater.

Joining BalletX for the first time is lighting designer Shelley Hicklin, who received a Barrymore Award in 2007 for her design of the Walnut Street Theater's Of Mice and Men. The set design is by Steven Earl Weber, who collaborated with Neenan on Le Travail, which was premiered by the Pennsylvania Ballet at The Academy of Music in February 2003. Costumes are designed by Martha Chamberlain, principal dancer of the PA Ballet, who has previously collaborated with Neenan on creating costumes for his 11:11, The Crossed Line, and As It's Going among others.

BalletX is pleased to announce the addition of two new dancers to its roster: Brent Whitney from Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY and Rick Callender, a freelance Philadelphia dancer. They will perform alongside Rosalia Chann, Heidi Cruz, Tara Keating, Anitra Nurnberger, Meredith Rainey and Emily Wagner. Artistic directors Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan will also join the troupe on the floor.

Neenan explains: "This is a very exciting project for BalletX. Collaborating with extraordinary artists such as composer Matthew Pierce and set designer Steven Weber, BalletX will be presenting its first full-length evening work ever. We are committed to keeping our audiences surprised and engaged, and this daring new ballet will do just that."

BalletX will conclude its first inaugural season on The Avenue of the Arts July 23-27, 2008, at The Wilma Theater with an All-Female Choreographers program.

This presentation was made possible by support from The William Penn Foundation.

Additional support was provided by The 5-County Arts Fund, a Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency.

BalletX is a Philadelphia-based dance company that seeks to expand the vocabulary of classical ballet for all audiences.
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