Dancers warm up in front of the mirrors. 

Last night, a version of contemporary ballet took the stage in East Carolina University’s Wright Auditorium.

BalletX is a company from Philadelphia that showcases ballet in a new contemporary way by performing internationally three seasons per year.

Michael Crane, the associate dean of Research, Market and Outreach for the College of Fine Arts and Communication, explained the difference between BalletX and other ballet performances.

“Expect movement that looks like ballet, but don’t expect to see tutus or ‘storybook’ work. Most dance companies start with a core movement vocabulary. So ballet for this company, and then choreographers work from that language to build or set work. You’ll recognize the vocabulary as ballet, but you’ll appreciate the contemporary nature of the work.” Crane said.

Other than last night’s performance, BalletX also took the time to teach a class to some of ECU’s dancers on Tuesday. One of the students was sophomore dance major, Madeline Douglas, who expressed her newfound love for BalletX.

“As a dancer, I am always looking for opportunities to take dance classes with guest artists. I love ballet contemporary, so I knew I wanted to attend BalletX’s afternoon ballet contemporary master class,” Douglas said. “Taking class alongside company members was a really cool and inspiring experience for me.”

Tara Keating, Associate Artistic Director, one of the founding members and previous dancer of BalletX, explained one of her favorite parts of being part of the company.

“We love to share our passion for dance with new audiences. To be able to connect with the students and community not only in the performances but in the masterclasses as well, it's really what it's all about for us,” Keating said.

The performance takes a spin on ballet that is normally seen in the dance world. It allows for a fresh taste of dance while keeping the beautiful original pieces of ballet. The performance lasted two hours, leaving a short break for intermission.

Crane also explained that people should broaden their horizons and go see shows that they normally wouldn’t see.

“If you’ve never seen ballet, contemporary ballet, concert dance…come see this show. My opinion is that your collegiate experience isn’t complete until you’ve experienced opera, know if you like reggae, know how to appreciate the kinds of arts that you don’t normally engage with,” Crane said.

Douglas expresses how awe-inspired she was with the performance and being able to have the opportunity to watch BalletX’s performance in Wright and the dancers looked effortless in their movements.

“Their (BalletX) partnering was stunning and they all had beautiful movement quality. BalletX has an incredible group of dancers, and I’m so thankful they came to share their talent and knowledge with the ECU Dance Program,” Douglas said.

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