Ballet X performs “Once Again” at Swarthmore

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

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On Saturday, Ballet X, a Philadelphia dance company, performed a short piece entitled “Once Again”, to a full audience. The informal performance was in the Troy Dance Lab and included a brief question and answer session with choreographers Matthew Neenan and Christine Cox. This was Ballet X’s second time to perform at Swarthmore.

Ballet X’s piece “Once Again” was developed at Swarthmore during the summer, during the groups 2 week residency on campus. “Once Again” is an opening piece, designed to prepare the audience for a longer show. “I didn’t try to do anything too deep or emotional,” said Neenan.

“I wanted to do something light and fun to open the evening,” he said. The piece was set to music from Beatles Baroque, an album by Les Boreades.

“Once Again” showcased the dancers’ athleticism and classical technique while incorporating unusual lifts and modern arm and hand movements.

Choreographer Matthew Neenan creates gestures inspired by everyday occurrences. “I like to use humanity, things we do everyday sometimes,” he said. Neenan is also inspired by the famous Russian ballet choreographer George Balanchine.

Jon Sherman, a ballet teacher at Swarthmore, asked Neenan about Ballet X’s future plans. “We want to do something a little more raw and experimental,” Neenan said.

Choreographer Christine Cox plans to hold a panel at Swarthmore discussing the role of female choreographers in ballet, particularly focusing on why there are so few women in the field.

Ballet X was recently named the resident company of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia; their first season was November 1-4.

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