Posted on Fri, Apr. 15, 2011

By Merilyn Jackson

For The Inquirer

Alexander Iziliaev

Tara Keating and Matthew Prescott

Weather-wise, spring is returning to Philadelphia in fits and starts. But inside the Wilma Theater Wednesday night the stage bloomed with potted flowers, campy song, loopy dance, and ballooning boobies. In Proliferation of the Imagination, a featured event of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, those balloons actually popped – because the production is, after all, based on Guillaume Apollinaire’s 1917 play The Mammaries of Tirésias. And this first-ever collaboration between the Wilma Theater and BalletX, its resident dance company, milks the show to a mirthful froth.

Walter Bilderback, the Wilma’s dramaturg and literary director, and choreographer Matthew Neenan, who codirects BalletX with Christine Cox, pulled together a crack team of actors, dancers, musicians, stage and costume designers to pull off this contemporary version of Apollinaire’s gender-bending, proto-feminist, antiwar play after which he coined the term surréalisme.

Mary McCool plays Therese/Tirésias, who refuses to bear children and grows a beard, while Luigi Sottile plays The Husband, in black-and-white-striped bustle skirt and heels. BalletX member Tara Keating, looking oh-so-sexy in a bowler hat and pinstriped leggings, shadows him. And dancer Matthew Prescott, in curls, ruffles, and bustier to match The Husband’s, shadows Therese as she becomes more and more masculine.

All of this seems to be taking place in Zanzibar.



Posted on Fri, Jul. 23, 2010

By Merilyn Jackson

For The Inquirer

Scene from ‘Journey of the Day’ by Matthew Prescott Dancers (L to R):Kevin Yee-Chan, Laura Feig, Colby Damon, Tobin Del Cuore, Anitra Keegan, Tara Keating and Jennifer Goodman. BalletX

No matter how great the choreography, without the right dancers to breathe life into it, a dance can go flat as a souffle when the oven door is opened too soon.

No worries at the Wilma Theater Wednesday night when BalletX opened its summer run. All 10 of the company’s current lineup whipped themselves to great heights and sustained excellence.

BalletX at the Wilma Theater through Sunday, July 25th, 2010

See for ticket info

or call Box Office: (215) 893-9456


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: