BOONE — The Schaefer Center Presents virtual performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, features one of the country’s most celebrated contemporary dance companies, BalletX, Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m.
This specially curated broadcast of Philadelphia’s premier ballet company includes an introduction by BalletX co-founder Christine Cox, the BalletX 15th Anniversary Season documentary film and two of the company’s popular mixed rep selections, “Increasing” and “Fancy Me.” The documentary was commissioned from filmmaker Daniel Madoff and highlights the company’s growth, trajectory and continued commitment to redefining ballet in the 21st century. The SCP virtual event is free, but registration is required.
“Figuring out how to effectively deliver dance to a virtual platform — while still maintaining a visceral connection to the dance audience — was difficult enough, but celebrating an anniversary season in the middle of a global pandemic? That posed a new set of challenges,” said Cox.
Instead of thinking small and insular, Cox and company decided “to go big and bold, by commissioning 15 new works in honor of our 15th anniversary season,” she said.
“We learned that working together and caring for each other really do matter. Each dancer took on new aspects of the job, like creating dances, making films, developing editing skills and learning how to fundraise. The dancers also greatly appreciated the fact that we were able to keep working and instead of losing their jobs they gained perspective and insight into what it takes to keep a company alive during a worldwide pandemic,” said Cox.
The Feb. 25, virtual event precedes BalletX’s scheduled in-person performance with the SCP series in Spring 2022, when the company will take the Schaefer Center stage to perform the beloved story ballet The Little Prince. While BalletX’s virtual journey has been affirmative and fulfilling, the dancers look forward to the day when they can perform to a live house once again.
Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX is led by Cox, whose tenure as Artistic and Executive Director has produced 84 world premiere ballets by 42 choreographers, a record “few companies can match,” according to The New York Times. Under Cox’s leadership, BalletX has been hailed as an “epicenter of creation” and “place of choreographic innovation,” putting Philadelphia on the map as an international destination for contemporary ballet.