Philadelphia International Festival of Arts (PIFA) brought a very rare experience to Philadelphia: a collaboration of dancing and live organ music titled ATTACK POINT. Dancers from Brooklyn-based contemporary company Gallim Dance, three organ students from the Curtis Institute of Music, and singers from Choral Arts Philadelphia interact and go beyond their own borders.
The program consists of six organ musics composed by six different composers from wide range of era (Bach, Buxtehude, Duruflé, Cabanilles, Hampton, and Bovet) and a dance piece, Boat, performed by the dancers of Gallim Dance to a live organ music created by Arvo Pärt. Bryan Dunnewald pleased the audience with two pieces from Baroque period (“Fugue a la Gigue” by Bach and “Praeludium in C Major” by Buxtehude.) His delicate touch and brilliant sound are exquisite. Clara Gerdes, by contrast, filled the hall with powerful and colorful sound (Cabanilles’ “Corrente Italiana” and Hampton’s “Everyone Dance” from Five Dances.) In Boat, the complicated and dramatic sounds of the organ is visualized through Andrea Miller’s experimental and innovative choreography. The dancers gravitating jumps and falls and aggressive movements amplify the deep sound of organ visually. And the hauling sound of the organ and the voice of the choir let the audience aurally experience the intensity of the dance.
It is truly exciting to experience a new and innovative piece of art. Among the many experimental performances at PIFA, this could be one of the most unique and successful.
[Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S Broad Street] April 10, 2016; kimmelcenter.org.