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BalletX Announces Sets Virtual World Premiere for New Dance Films

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Featuring new films by choreographers Maddie Hanson, Stephanie Martinez, and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano.

BalletX, celebrating its 15th Anniversary Season, announces a Virtual World Premiere event on March 10, 2021 at 7:00pm EST featuring the debut of new short dance films by choreographers Maddie Hanson, Stephanie Martinez, and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, alongside conversations with the choreographers and company dancers moderated by Artistic & Executive Director Christine Cox. Films will be available to subscribers on BalletX Beyond, the company's subscription-based streaming platform hailed as "revolutionizing virtual performance" (Harper's Bazaar).

"It has been almost a full year since the pandemic compelled us to reimagine BalletX's future, and the future of how we can create and present new dance that connects with audiences across a digital divide. These gorgeous world premiere films share a common theme of connection and empowerment, inspiring us to feel the strength

of our community through the screen. I am so grateful to audiences for taking this journey with us, and for opening their hearts to something new," says Christine Cox, BalletX Artistic & Executive Director.

Canadian dance artist Maddie Hanson premieres short film VIRTUALITY, in collaboration with filmmaker Jorge Cousineau and featuring original music by Jack Frerer, mixed by Nathan Prillaman. VIRTUALITY stars company dancer Ashley Simpson, and according to Hanson it "follows a dancer as she embarks on a solo performance experience, transported to stage via virtual reality. As the audience, we view her experience both from outside and within, evoking thought about the magic of the theatre, the intersection of art and technology, and the longing for a stage-audience connection in these times." VIRTUALITY was filmed on location at Formation Sauna + Wellness and Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia, PA.

Chicago-based choreographer Stephanie Martinez premieres short film Her Blood a Wild River, in collaboration with filmmakers Elliot deBruyn and Nathaniel Brown and featuring seven company dancers, costumes by Mark Eric, music by Mercedes Martinez and Bonga, and Denice Frohman's poem A Woman's Place. Says Martinez: "This work celebrates the determination and beauty of the pioneering women of my Mexican and Indigenous heritage. They are our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and daughters. Their physical prowess, intellect, humor,

and emotional vulnerability drive our communities." Her Blood a Wild River was filmed on location at the mural Sanctuary City, Sanctuary Neighborhood © 2019 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Artists Betsy Casañas & Ian Pierce, and at Fairhill Square Park and Alpha Restaurant in Philadelphia's Fairhill neighborhood.

Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano premieres short film Hernando's Hideaway, in collaboration with filmmakers Elliot deBruyn and Nathaniel Brown and set on company dancers Zachary Kapeluck, Blake Krapels, and Richard Villaverde. The work features costumes by Mark Eric and lighting by Alyssandra Docherty, and was filmed on location at Philadelphia's Glen Foerd Mansion, built in 1850 in the Italianate architecture style, and Plays & Players Theatre. The choreography is set to the song "Hernando's Hideaway" by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler, performed by The Johnston Brothers. Sansano says of the music: "It called my attention from the first moment I heard it, more than 10 years ago. After the lockdown I got BalletX's proposal, and I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to create the work that has been in my head for so long."

BalletX launched BalletX Beyond, a subscription-based streaming platform, in September 2020 to keep the arts alive during the ongoing pandemic, and to ensure continued support for the company's exceptional dancers and collaborating choreographers, filmmakers, and designers.

BalletX Beyond is available in two plans at www.BalletX.org/Beyond.


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