Fall Series 2015

November 18-22

At The Wilma Theater
265 S. Broad St., Philadelphia
Box Office: 215-546-7824

Returning to BalletX after the success of his 2013 full-length ballet Beautiful Decay, Nicolo Fonte  is “a thinker, an architect who creates the new rather than reinvent the old” (The Seattle Post). The Resident Choreographer of Ballet West, Fonte has created work for internationally acclaimed companies, including The Dutch National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Stuttgart Ballet, in addition to being one of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s most popular guest chorographers. His inventive fusion of ideas, movement, and design creates a signature dance language, which is “highly original… and exhilarating to watch” (Dance Europe).

For Fall Series 2015, Fonte will create an evening-length ballet, inspired by the sociological debate of nature versus nurture. Based on tabula rasa, the idea that every person begins as a blank slate from which experiences shape and mold humanity, Fonte will explore the dramatic contrasts of learned behavior and primal human instincts. Incorporating sets by renowned scenic designer and architect Mimi Lien, praised for “being able to solve complex problems with visually arresting designs” (American Theater), Fonte will pull from the dancers’ own poignant, and sometimes humorous, basic human impulses. In this world premiere, he will stretch movement to its expressive limits by integrating a variety of dance genres to investigate the tension between nobility and savageness, and explore the ways in which humans are both nurtured and “of nature”.

Season Brochure


MIMI LIEN – Set Designer
Designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera with a background in architecture, Lien’s work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is an artistic associate with Pig Iron Theatre Company and the Civillian, and resident design at BalletTech. Her work has been seen in New York at St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Kitchen, Signature Theatre, the Public Theater, and around he country at Berkeley Rep, A.R.T., The Wilma Theater, La Jolla Theater, and Portland Center Stage, among others. Mimi’s designs for dance have been presented in the Netherlands and Russia. Her work has been recognized by a Barrymore Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award nomination, Bay Area Critics Circle nomination, and a 2012 OBIO award for sustained excellence of set design.

DREW BILLIAU – Lighting Designer
Drew Billiau’s lighting design credits include Opera Company of Philadelphia's Rape of LucretiaFidelioFalstafPorgy and BessLa CenerentolaThe Marriage of FigaroCosi Fan TutteDon Carlo, FaustDie Fledermaus, Macbeth, Don Pasquale, Turandot and Hansel und Gretel;  Lucidity Suitcase's Red Eye de Havre de GraceFlamingo Winnebago, The Melting Bridge and El Conquistador (Spain Tour); Cleveland Opera's Faust; Arden Theater's All My Sons, …And Then They Came For Me, VioletFalsettos and A Year with Frog and Toad; Ballet X's 2 Different, M.O.M and Risk of Flight; Hamlet at the Lantern Theater. Previous work includes lighting designs for The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Iowa Playwrights Festival, Stagewest, Freedom Theater, Peoples Light & Theater Company and Venture Theater. Drew is the Lighting Coordinator/Resident Lighting Designer for The Opera Company of Philadelphia, Associate Professor of Lighting Design for the University of the Arts and Associate Designer for the corporate/industrial design firm Fine Design Associates.

Fall Series 2015