In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, performances of all shapes and sizes have been cancelled. The ballet has found empty theaters and dancers have been left to wonder how to continue with their careers.

Christine Cox, BalletX artistic director in Philadelphia, has not been letting the pandemic affect how she will control her future.

“There was a panic moment,” she said. “At first you’re managing the crises shutting down your performances, which is something we did early on.”

She then had to re-evaluate what was next, which she said, was going to be something big. A new series, Cox announced Tuesday morning, was her big plan. It will launch Sept. 10 and celebrate the company’s 15th anniversary with world premieres by 15 choreographers.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, she describes it as a subscription-based film festival with nine shorts and six features.

The shorts will be on BalletX Beyond, the company’s website. The features are intended to be live in the spring or summer, but will be filmed if they cannot be live. The dancers will work with choreographers all over the world and the budget has been reduced to $2.5 million. The dancers will still uphold their 38-week contracts.

Most of the filming will be done by the dancers, probably in their home or outdoors. Cox said that they are learning new skill sets from this. They will learn filming as well as editing, she said.

“We’re excited to view this as a wonderful opportunity and learning curve,” she said. “And a chance to potentially meet new audience members in their city in their homes and just broaden our audience if we do it right.”


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