October 21, 2016
By: Aimée M. Petrin
What a night for dance in Maine.
Philadelphia’s BalletX graced the Merrill Auditorium stage last night with four astounding works: Slump, It’s Not a Cry, Gran Partita, and The Last Glass. The program was rich in its diversity and expertly showcased the dancers’ virtuosity.
To have a full standing ovation, mid-performance after only the second piece is testimony to the audience’s appreciation for the artistry of BalletX. The company was equally enthused and felt it was one of their finest evenings because of the energy of the audience. In fact, their Board chair flew here from NYC to see the performance and visit family. She shared her sincere pleasure with how the company was received, noting: “You have a great audience.”
We already knew that.
Here are a few comments from audience members:
What a delight the BalletX performance was last night! I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed dance so much. It was a fabulous evening and each piece was wonderful; I was in tears at the end of the second dance (Hallelujah) and could have watched it again right then. At the intermission, everyone was buzzing about what a treat it was. The dancing was sublime, the music great, the costumes colorful and the variety in the program excellent. I was so happy to be there. Thank you for bringing them to Portland! Brava!”
Unbelievable evening of ballet that ran me through the spectrum of emotions and filled me with beauty! The pas de deux second piece, set to Coen’s Hallelujah, was something I will never forget! Deep bow to the dancers and staff of BalletX. And much gratitude to my lovely cousin for bringing this wonderful experience into my sphere!”
Thank you Portland Ovations for bringing the great contemporary ballet company BalletX to Portland! My students, Exchange Street Studio saw the performance of a lifetime and will be talking about it in class for weeks to come!”
Thank you to Chris Hyde for the fabulous review. Read here.
BalletX in the Community through O2
Waynflete’s intermediate and advanced dance students participated in a ninety minute master class led by BalletX’s Associate Artistic Director Tara Keating the morning of October 20. This masterclass was designed to meet the particular needs of the students, while modeling for them an authentic masterclass experience from nationally recognized dance company’s artistic director. Later that day the students attended both the performance and the post-performance Q and A with the company.
Images from Last Night’s Performance
(Photos by: Sarah Prak, Marketing Associate)
If you missed the program insert last night, here are a few introductory words prepared especially for our dance audience and BalletX’s performance.
Curating our annual season is the most delicious part of my role as executive and artistic director of Portland Ovations. And it is perhaps our dance series that I find most delightful, challenging and rewarding.
Ovations’ strong history of dance programming goes back decades, bringing iconic companies such as Paul Taylor Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Pilobolus. In 2007, we expanded to an annual series of no less than three companies. From contemporary dance to the folkloric, from hip-hop to dance-theater, from marquee names to emerging companies, the series is curated with an eye on providing a range of different aesthetics, styles, production scales, accessibility and cultural perspectives. Community engagement through O2 has our visiting artists leading masterclasses in the local dance studios, presenting lec/dems at area schools and sometimes dancing in airports, office lobbies and more. We are also now a co-commissioner of dance, having provided pivotal support to Doug Varone and Company and its realization of Chapters from a Broken Novel and Bridgman | Packer Dance’s VOYEUR—both of which went onto national presentations.
The introduction of “new” companies like BalletX to appreciative Portland audiences is incredibly gratifying. You regularly demonstrate your trust in our programming by coming out for companies you previously knew nothing or little about. Ballet Jazz Montreal, Philadanco, Circa and Compagnie Kafig are all examples of emerging companies that attracted large audiences. Time and time again, we’ve found you to be enthusiastic, responsive and curious. That kind of response is incredible. I know of no other communities of this size who can claim such commitment to an artform that some find challenging.
With BalletX we share a company that straddles the worlds of classic and contemporary. Its strong foundational training in classical technique serves as a spring board for the company’s more modern aesthetic. It is not common to find a company that performs in both in toe shoes and soft feet. As a “rep company” (a company that performs the work of many different choreographers) we are able with one company to share the work of as many as four different choreographic voices, giving our series even more depth and breadth. It is these reasons, in addition to their incredible skill and “on the rise” status, that we chose to bring BalletX to you, our incredible dance audience.
Thank you for trusting us and for supporting dance. We truly could not do this without you.
Aimée M. Petrin
Executive & Artistic Director
Thank you to all who were in attendance at last night’s standout performance by BalletX. It was a night not to be missed. We would love to hear about your experience. Comment below or email us by clicking the button below and enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to BodyTraffic on March 18, 2017 • 8 PM at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. Winner will be chosen on Friday, October 28 at 3 PM.