BalletX dancer Savannah Green writes about the company’s tour to Ballet Sun Valley in Sun Valley, Idaho.
A big hello to the BalletX family! As I’m writing this, the day after we arrived back in Philadelphia, the whole BalletX team is settling back into their home routine after a whirlwind six days in beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho.
Performing at altitude among gorgeous mountainous views is something so special, and it was truly incredible to experience that challenge not once, but twice this summer. Coming off the heels of the Vail Dance Festival, BalletX made the journey out west once more to bring two evenings full of exhilarating work to Ballet Sun Valley. For our first performance on August 22, BalletX presented Matthew Neenan’s evening-length work Sunset, o639 Hours. The next day, we performed a totally different program with pieces choreographed by Matthew Neenan, Jorma Elo, Amy Seiwart, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Caili Quan, and Nicolo Fonte. The artistic diversity displayed between the two evenings is a hallmark of the company – we really do it all! From the deep, emotional story-telling of our first night, to the abstract beauty of dancers connecting in a musical haven, our performances in Sun Valley were a thrill to be a part of.
As we carefully emerge back into our regular performance schedule, I’m awed by how much our small group can accomplish. The Ballet Sun Valley gala show on August 23 is a perfect example of our group’s dedication to the power of live theater. Switching between different pieces on a single evening’s program is standard for BalletX, though it never ceases to amaze me how many voices we share with the audience and in turn, how many opportunities we give to them to really see us for who we are.
I performed in Matthew Neenan’s Increasing at the top of the program, and then closed the evening with Nicolo Fonte’s Steep Drop, Euphoric. Both works have 10 dancers in them and explore different ways in which humans connect and interact within a group. They’re vastly different works: Increasing is set to the luscious music of Schubert, with choreography that is very freeing and deeply interwoven with our fellow dancers, while Steep Drop, Euphoric is intensely physical and filled with athletic tension, set to music by Ezio Bosso and Ólafur Arnalds. After so many months of isolation and fear of what togetherness can do to us, the ability to explore the complete opposite of those feelings is as deeply fulfilling as it is challenging. There is such a beautiful vulnerability in supporting one another and allowing oneself to be supported as well. Giving into the loving arms of your friends means letting go of what you can control – that can be a really tough thing to do, especially when you’re on stage with nerves and adrenaline! But, these two works have helped me begin the journey of discovering the beauty of trusting those around you and displaying that kind of connection to our audiences.
Thank you so much for reading along, and I am so looking forward to sharing Sunset, o639 Hours here in Philly for Fall Series 2021 at The Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Sep. 9-12!
Check out Savannah’s pictures from Sun Valley below, and catch the company in Philadelphia for Fall Series, Sep. 9-12 at The Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
The women of BalletX before a Ballet Sun Valley donor event
The view from the company’s condo
Skyler Lubin, Francesca Forcella, and Ashley Simpson warming up before BalletX’s performance of “Sunset, o639 Hours”
Jonah Delgado, Savannah Green, Richard Villaverde, and Ashley Simpson before BalletX’s performance of “Steep Drop, Euphoric”