Dance

Coverage of dance, movement, and related performance art in Philadelphia.

Quince Productions’ GayFest! kicks off with HEAD OVER HEELS

Philadelphia’s first and largest LGBTQ theater festival, GayFest! by Quince Productions, returns this August 5-23 to Plays and Players Skinner Studio. Opening this year’s festival is the The Bang Group’s HEAD OVER HEELS, a high energy mix of concert dance, slapstick, and musical theater in a cabaret setting. Artistic director and choreographer David Parker took time with me to offer some insights into the dance and his New York City dance ensemble’s interests in creating the piece.

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Sebastian Cummings talks about LIFE ON THE FRINGE

Sebastian Cummings has always been a little edgy. A military brat, a black man in the white suburbs, a Jamaican American in African American black society, a gay actor in a straight-role world—throughout…

Jane Gotch's Let It Fall, a duet for Leo Gayden and Juliet Remmers. Photo by Mike Strong.

Cool Dancing in Warm Spaces: Jane Gotch and Myra Bazell at the Iron Factory

Myra Bazell, a much-loved teacher of dance, and Jane Gotch first met fifteen years ago when Gotch had to scratch together enough change to take Bazell’s popular modern class. The good-vibe feeling between these two choreographers was evident as Bazell explained to the audience of about thirty on a (thankfully) not-too-hot June evening that the Iron Factory was a positive venue for this reunion.

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Meet Swarthmore College’s Newest Dance Professor, Gregory King

King’s teaching philosophy utilizes his firsthand knowledge of the different facets of the dance industry to provide his students with a realistic view of life as a professional dancer.

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Philly Performing Artists Discuss their Untenable Careers: Video from the Philadelphia Artists Summit

Josh McIlvain’s interview with Charlotte Ford “The untenable career of a successful Philadelphia theater artist” sparked some soul-searching among Philadelphia performers. They met on June 23rd to discuss.

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PA Ballet’s Roy Kaiser discusses his retirement at City Institute Library series

Pennsylvania Ballet is finishing their 50th Anniversary Season with victory lap programming, but it has played out as more than just a milestone date, but a distinct turning point for the company‘s future.

BODY Play by Kaycee Filson

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE ELEVEN: CHRIS DAVIS, CORINNA BURNS & KAYCEE FILSON

In this final episode, we talk about people talkin’ ‘bout bodies in West Philly and a double-bill: dark skies and stalkers in South Philly.

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The Happiest Dance Company in Town: BalletX does Pharrell Williams “Happy”

Pharrell Williams’s song “Happy” spawned a slew of tribute videos from across the world, and BalletX has made the quintessential Philly version. The four-minute video shows their talented dancers, company…

SIGN FELT! (a show about nothingness) by Alexandra Tatarsky

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE TEN: ALEXANDRA TATARSKY, CINDY SPITKO and JOY CUTLER

In episode ten, we’ve got nothingness Goethe in a secret secret place, grief clowning in West Philly, and autobiographical anatomy in Rittenhouse.

Paper Mustache (Or, Helix) by James Haro

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE NINE: THOMAS CHOINACKY, SARAH VAN AUKEN & JAMES HARO

In the SoLow Fest this year, some 30+ artists are creating cheap cheap theater in formal and informal spaces around the city. Challenging the idea that budget = quality, artistic…

What Sanity by Chelsea Murphy, Alex Romania, and Magda San Millan

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE EIGHT: DUO OF GROSSNESS, TRIO OF MADNESS

In SoLow, you redact the boring stuff—these tickets and grants and five-year-plans and most importantly the stages and lobbies and flashy pricey venues—which are meant to indicate to the audience member, yes, see this show and not those.

Let’s imagine that when SoLow redacts these walls, what results, remarkably, is not dust and rock and paper shreds, but sand.

A big pile of sand.

SoLow is like a sandbox.

To give you a clearer picture of what’s being built in the sandbox, freelance writer/performer Julius Ferraro conducts a series of flash interviews of our artists.

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You’re not in Kansas anymore: Photos from The Cabaret Administration’s OF OZ

Following its traditional adaptations of The Nutcracker and Frankenstein, The Cabaret Administrion undresses Frank Baum’s children’s classic in a spectacle of ballet and burlesque. Director Anna Frangiosa and choreographer Christine…

untitled commission by Kevin Meehan.

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE SEVEN: KEVIN MEEHAN, AMELIA CHARTER & ELIZABETH WHITNEY

SoLow is about play.

There are some plays in it.

There are some . . . things . . . in it which are not plays.

But, SoLow is about reducing the boring stuff—the stages and lobbies and tickets and grants and endless marketing strategies—which stands between the artist and the audience, so that everyone can play.

To give you a clearer picture of what’s being played around with, freelance writer/performer Julius Ferraro conducts a series of flash interviews of our artists.

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Full House (Quince): You deserve a cabaret!

Downtown theater company Quince Productions – the punchy, LGBTQ-leaning bunch that puts on GayFest! every August – opens their sixth annual Full House cabaret series this Thursday in its ancestral home, the Red Room at the Society Hill Playhouse, and it’s looking as wicked, delightful and boozy as ever. (Boozy because your ticket includes the price of a drink.)

escape clause by Robert Gross and Julius Ferraro

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE SIX: STEVEN WEISZ, MELISSA RAUB & ROBERT GROSS

SoLow is lo fi.

SoLow is lo stress.

SoLow is lo budget.

SoLow is happening, and to give you a clearer picture of what’s in store, freelance writer/performer Julius Ferraro conducts a series of flash interviews of our artists.

This episode we have modern dance in center city, astral projection installation performance in Kensington, and #sexualharassment on #Twitter.

CatCal] by Danielle Solomon

SOLOW FLASH INTERVIEWS 2014, EPISODE FOUR: Lesley Berkowitz, Clara Elser & Danielle Solomon

SoLow Fest! In the house. (In many houses.) This month. OMG. Across Philly’s various neighborhoods, artists of all shapes, sizes and specialities are working on over 35 different shows. How…

This painting is valued at $250 million.

Putting the value on the art of performing art

The support for performing arts organizations and artists, of all sizes, pales in comparison to the type of funding that art museums obtain. It is time to start placing more value on the “art” part of performing arts.

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“Everything is Moving”: Leah Stein Dance Company explores DEEP LISTENING

Composer Pauline Oliveros once said, “At all times, everything is moving.” For the last year, Philadelphia choreographer Leah Stein has put that to the test. Stein, seven dancers and seven singers have used Oliveros’s Deep Listening practice to investigate dance, music, and theater composition.

Photo credit Kate Raines.

COMMUNITAS (Almanac): The Contortionist and the Dancer

The action in COMMUNITAS could be best described as four people taking turns carrying one another around a space, then falling off, then swapping who carries whom. In a way, it is structured around a continual exploration of ways to make two or more people into one. Balance is challenged not by standing on a tight rope, but by joining two bodies at a single point and leaning precipitously apart; disassemble and repeat as necessary.

Francesca Forcella and Zachary Kapeluck_Delicate Balance_Photo Alexander Iziliaev

Photo Essay: BalletX dances on The Porch at 30th Street this Wednesday

Contemporary ballet company BalletX presents a free lunchtime performance this Wednesday at noon as part of the cultural programming series at The Porch at 30th Street Station. The company will present selections from their acclaimed Winter Series 2014