Fall Series 2015

November 18-22

At The Wilma Theater
265 S. Broad St., Philadelphia
Box Office: 215-546-7824

Returning to BalletX after the success of his 2013 full-length ballet Beautiful Decay, Nicolo Fonte  is “a thinker, an architect who creates the new rather than reinvent the old” (The Seattle Post). The Resident Choreographer of Ballet West, Fonte has created work for internationally acclaimed companies, including The Dutch National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Stuttgart Ballet, in addition to being one of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s most popular guest chorographers. His inventive fusion of ideas, movement, and design creates a signature dance language, which is “highly original… and exhilarating to watch” (Dance Europe).

For Fall Series 2015, Fonte will create an evening-length ballet, inspired by the sociological debate of nature versus nurture. Based on tabula rasa, the idea that every person begins as a blank slate from which experiences shape and mold humanity, Fonte will explore the dramatic contrasts of learned behavior and primal human instincts. Incorporating sets by renowned scenic designer and architect Mimi Lien, praised for “being able to solve complex problems with visually arresting designs” (American Theater), Fonte will pull from the dancers’ own poignant, and sometimes humorous, basic human impulses. In this world premiere, he will stretch movement to its expressive limits by integrating a variety of dance genres to investigate the tension between nobility and savageness, and explore the ways in which humans are both nurtured and “of nature”.


Season Brochure


MIMI LIEN – Set Designer
Designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera with a background in architecture, Lien’s work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. She is an artistic associate with Pig Iron Theatre Company and the Civillian, and resident design at BalletTech. Her work has been seen in New York at St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Kitchen, Signature Theatre, the Public Theater, and around he country at Berkeley Rep, A.R.T., The Wilma Theater, La Jolla Theater, and Portland Center Stage, among others. Mimi’s designs for dance have been presented in the Netherlands and Russia. Her work has been recognized by a Barrymore Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award nomination, Bay Area Critics Circle nomination, and a 2012 OBIO award for sustained excellence of set design.

DREW BILLIAU – Lighting Designer
Drew Billiau’s lighting designs include Red Eye to Havre de Grace at New York Theater Workshop; Zombie Strippers for NYMTF; Cherokee and Bootycandy for the Wilma Theater; Tea: A Mirror of Soul for Vancouver Opera; The Magic Flute for Pittsburgh Opera; The Train Driver, Hamlet, and Henry V for Lantern Theater Company; La Boheme, Carmen, Turandot, Fidelio, Porgy and Bess, and Madame Butterfly for Opera Philadelphia; The Melting Bride, Flamingo Winnebago, and Whale Optics for Lucidity Suitcase; Abduction of Seraglio for Teatri of Treviso; Red Speedo, Cock, Iron, and The English Bride for Theater Exile; Fatebook and Prom for New Paradise Laboratories; Charlotte's Web, Frog and Toad, and All My Sons for Arden Theatre Company; and Beasts, Sunset, o639 Hours, Beautiful Decay, Instant God, The Last Glass, Risk of Flight, and Silt for BalletX.  Drew is the Technical Production Manager at Opera Philadelphia and an Associate Designer in the corporate lighting firm Fine Design Associates.

Fall Series 2015