BalletX launches a pandemic-safe way to enjoy dance

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the introduction of BalletX Beyond, a virtual subscription series that includes films and a live performance.

"These events are meant to bring us together to build community," says BalletX Executive Director, Christine Cox, "as we all navigate this challenging time."

One of the films features the work of Philadelphia poet and social justice advocate Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and is inspired by Loving versus Virginia.

"I call it the Loving legacy, right", jokes Choreographer Francesca Harper, referring to the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down state laws banning interracial marriage.

"I just think their story is phenomenal," Harper says. "Their love was so strong and so bonded, it changed our laws."

Harper explores her own interracial marriage in a work she choreographed for BalletX called Unapologetic Body.

"The work is really inspired by my love story," Harper says, "what our interracial connection, relationship, communication really meant to me."

She created a series of stories and dances that embody the memories that most shaped her life.

"There are these lightboxes that almost serve as mirrors of reflection for the dancers to look into the past but then also project into the future," Harper explains.

The event includes two other short films and then wraps up with a live virtual performance.

"If we can open up our mind and breathe in the possibility of change," Cox says, "we can learn and grow together."

BalletX Beyond
Premieres January 20th and runs through August 31st.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.