Despite what I'd like to believe, BalletX isn't a new multi-billion dollar interstellar dance initiative spawned by Elon Musk—but it's still pretty cool.
BalletX is Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet company, and as followers of dance in Philadelphia will tell you, the city needs all the help it can get.
As my colleague Alyssa Ochs recently noted, Philadelphia dance companies are living in precarious times, thanks to a brutal funding cut from the William Penn Foundation. Penn supported Dance/UP, an umbrella organization that serves many local dance companies, with $950,000 in 2011, but abruptly cut off funding.
This funding cut underscores the inherent risks of relying on a single funder, and as related news out of New York suggests, the problem isn't confined to Philadelphia.
Fortuantely, BalletX seems to have a well-rounded revenue base. It's institutional funders include the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and—gulp!—the William Penn Foundation.
This bodes well for the future of the troupe and can explain why BalletX recently issued a call for applications for its 2016 choreographic fellowship.
The fellowship, which includes a $5,000 choreographic fee, gives the selected winner the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned choreographer and mentor Trey McIntyre on a ballet. During the months of January and February 2016, the selected fellow and McIntyre will work side by side on a world premiere ballet to debut during the Winter Series 2016 program during BalletX’s 2015-2016 10-year anniversary season.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be available for the entire duration of the residency.
- Have completed their first commission on a professional dance company within the past five years.
- Have never choreographed for BalletX.
- Be able to work in the United States for the duration of the residency, and
- Be at least 18 years of age. In addition, a $25 application fee is due when the application is submitted.
Death-defying pirouettes in zero gravity may still be a few years off —hurry up, Elon!—but in the meantime, we can all find solace in the fact that there's still some money sloshing around the Philadelphia dance scene.
Check out the full RFP here.