Chicago meets another world-class contemporary company this fall in a mixed-rep program from Philly’s delightful, knockout Ballet X. Like other great companies making fresh, resonant new work anchored in ballet technique and contemporary aesthetics, Ballet X has an alchemic combination of virtuosic dancers and artistic direction with a bell-clear, unique voice. The company was founded by co-directors Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, who bring four works—unseen in Chicago—to the Dance Center of Columbia College. Two pieces are by Joshua L. Peugh, whose time dancing in Korea can be spotted in “Slump,” a colorful, comic romp through courtship, injected with vernacular dance movements from around the globe (including repeated use of the moonwalk) …and a fair dose of silliness. Jodie Gates’ “Delicate Balance” provides contrast with extended, powerful balletic lines, minimalist costuming and an atmosphere of some gravity. Gates’ piece showcases the Ballet X dancers’ acumen as complete performers; they move with as much expression from hair to toes in classical vocabularies as they do in theatrical ones. Matthew Neenan’s “The Last Glass” is, like the Beirut songs it is set to, explosive, bounding and joyous, unfolding throughout a series of duets, each with its own character, and danced with infectious abandon. (Sharon Hoyer)
Ballet X at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 South Michigan, (312)369-8330. Thursday-Saturday, September 18-20 at 8pm. $30.