Since we last checked in, the company was preparing to take the stage at the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center. I’m happy to report that I was able to attend both performances and was absolutely thrilled to hear the audience’s response to the company. On both evenings, Matthew Neenan’s Mapping Out A Sky opened the program, and it became clear this was no ordinary group of dancers taking the stage.
The percussive opening notes of the Sondheim score sent a hush over the crowd and Matthew Neenan’s wonderful symmetry of movement spilled over the stage. The dancers performed with zeal and excitement, worthy of the famed venue. After their bow, it was clear that the spectators were impressed with what they saw. I sat there feeling proud to call myself a member of this spectacular group of artists.
The company returned home to Philadelphia and enjoyed a few days off. Definitely some necessary time away to recharge and recoup after the toll of performing in New York two days in a row. Once back in the studio, the dancers spent the next few days rehearsing a variety of repertoire that will be performed in the coming weeks, as well as spending Wednesday taking pictures in a company photoshoot.
These shoots happen at least once a year and are a great opportunity for the dancers to flex their creative muscles and capture images that will then be used for BalletX marketing efforts throughout the year. In fact, a lovely memory of my time with BalletX is the first time, back in 2014, that I saw a picture of myself on the back of a SEPTA bus, marketing an upcoming BalletX performance. It definitely took me by surprise! This year, considering that the company has welcomed quite a few new dancers into the fold, these images will be a great way to introduce our audiences to these artists.
As I’m writing this, the company is just beginning to put together works that will be performed in the new year, including Credo, a lovely Matthew Neenan work premiered at the Vail Dance Festival in 2016. Inspired by a trip to India, this work is a wonderful exploration of community and culture, and I’m thrilled to say I am finally back in the rehearsal space as we piece together this ballet. It feels great to be moving with my peers again, and to return after a couple months off by rehearsing this work in particular is a blessing.
While out on injury, BalletX dancer Zachary Kapeluck will be writing a weekly blog where you’ll get insight into company life, tours, and more. Stay tuned for more posts through November 17!