Big Moves in Small Towns

Veteran BalletX dancer Zachary Kapeluck shares thoughts, recent experiences, and more.

Performing in Philadelphia is probably one of our favorite parts about being BalletX dancers. Our hometown audiences are definitely our number one fans, and nothing quite compares to the reception we receive when we perform here at home. However, a big part of what we do and what makes us special is our capacity to reach audiences who may not be exposed to dance to the degree we are here in Philly. In fact, one of the fondest memories of my time with the company was back in the fall of 2013, on my first stretch of touring. We spent time in small towns including New Holland, Michigan and Geneva, New York, and it was during those weekends that I felt our company gel in ways we hadn’t back home in Philly.

I mention this now because the company just returned from a tour to Bucknell University, in Lewisburg PA. Though I was unable to accompany them, I’m told they were received warmly, to which I’m not surprised. So often when we bring our art to these smaller venues, we are met with an enthusiastic welcome, so characteristic of small town America. They are usually so thrilled to have a company in town that enriches the artistic vibrancy of their communities, and we are more than happy to supply that necessary spark.

Something about touring at this particular time of year is also lovely, while the leaves are changing and the inherent charm that comes with the fall and winter months is so accessible. A highlight of that tour back in 2013 was a day when the company had a break and spent some time at a vineyard in the Finger Lakes. Being able to relax and enjoy each other’s company was lovely, and in a way it only served to enhance the connection between us on stage. The cultivation of our relationships outside the studio is a large part of what makes BalletX so unique – we truly get along and it shows!

Part of our mission is to bring dance to new audiences, and I think over the time I’ve spent in the company, I’ve performed in towns I would most likely have never visited otherwise.  It’s been a lovely experience to explore new places and meet new people, and I know the company plans to continue its efforts to make dance something not only reserved for the big city patrons, but something accessible and attainable for all.

Zachary Kapeluck 

November 19, 2021