Q&A with BalletX Co-Founder Christine Cox
On Thursday, Feb. 25 at 8pm, the Schaefer Center Presents virtual spring season features BalletX, one of the country’s most acclaimed contemporary ballet companies. The online event will include a recorded introduction by company co-founder Christine Cox, a documentary film in celebration of BalletX’s 15th anniversary season, and two popular mixed rep selections, “Increasing” and “Fancy Free.” Below Cox discusses how she and the company went “big and bold” in response to creating during a pandemic, embraced new challenges, and “are in it for the long haul.”
SCHAEFER CENTER PRESENTS: How has the company adjusted creatively and physically to the challenges of performing and creating during COVID, especially during this anniversary season?
CHRISTINE COX: I knew we had a long hard road ahead of us when making the decision to pivot the company to the virtual presentation of our work. I also had an intense sense of duty to do whatever it took to keep on supporting the dancers, staff and artists we had commissioned. Then the crazy idea came to go big and bold, by commissioning 15 new works in honor of our 15th anniversary season. The entire team at BalletX bonded together to do whatever it took to make it work.
SCP: What has been learned as a company, as individual dancers, as creators by navigating these challenges?
CC: As a company we have learned that we are far more resilient than we thought, we learned that this art form is a lifeline for not only us but for our growing community, we learned that working together and caring for each other really do matter. Each dancer took on new aspects of the job, like creating dances, making films, developing editing skills and learning how to fundraise. The dancer also greatly appreciated the fact that we were able to keep working and instead of losing their job they gained perspective and insight into what it takes to keep a company alive during a worldwide pandemic.
SCP: What does it mean to the dancers to be able to connect with a virtual audience as we look forward to a return to live performances?
CC: The dancers have been at the heart of our pivot as a company, because instead of dragging their feet and being annoyed at all the new things we were asking them to do, they embraced the challenges and brought new ideas. The dancers cannot wait to be back performing live for an audience. We are in it for the long haul and cannot wait to have the energy and spirit out in the house of a real theater.
BalletX is FREE, but advance registration is required. Register here.