He's done it again. In There I Was, Matthew Neenan has created a new work of tremendous power, grace, and style. It's luscious, quirky, and startling - often within the space of a few seconds. And throughout, it shows off the technical prowess, dramatic skills, and individual personalities of the dancers in BalletX, which began a five-day run at the Wilma Theater on Wednesday.
I'm not convinced that the final sequence - an unsubtle antiwar message performed to Tom Waits' "Road to Peace" - really belongs here. But Neenan made me eager to see the piece again, to reexperience its dazzling duets; the deadpan Chloe Felesina, who effortlessly melds exquisite classical phrases with off-balance contemporary ones; newcomer Francesca Forcella, who draws the eye every time she picks her way across the stage; and the multitalented Colby Damon, a dancer whose superb (live) guitar playing and acting tie the work together.