Dance

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

Photo: Kathryn Raines

FALLING INTO HERE or THE IMPORTANCE OF NORMAL (The Naked Stark/ First Person Arts): Dance review

Fractured. Awry. Akilter. There is frighteningly little cohesion and order (or shall we call it normalcy?) in the dark visual and kinesthetic world that Katherine Kiefer Stark presents in Falling into Here or The Importance of Normal. The performance is a welcome dance work among the talking heads presentations of the 12th annual First Person Arts Festival, a 10-day affair dedicated mostly to autobiographical narrative expressed through storytelling and song.

Photo by Yi Zhao

THE GARDEN (Nichole Canuso Dance Company): Offer your hand…

Six audience members isn’t an empty house; that’s the full load for Nichole Canuso Dance Company’s THE GARDEN. The basement below us is an expansive concrete stretch, a network of small rooms and squared pillars, and we’re sent down into a smallish room scattered with chairs. We’re invited to sit wherever we like.

Emily L. Gibson and Steve Lippe in MAKING the WORLD a BETTER PLACE through MURALS.

NICE AND FRESH November (SmokeyScout): Get punched in the face by art at SmokeyScout Productions’ NICE AND FRESH

SmokeyScout is named after artistic director Josh McIlvain’s cats: Smokey and Scout. The program of the November NICE AND FRESH thanks them, along with Moving Arts of Mount Airy (MAMA), the intimate,…

Raphael Xavier. Photo by Brian Mengini.

Raphael Xavier’s THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO AUDIENCE WATCHING PERFORMANCE at the First Person Arts Festival

Published by The Dance Journal. Reprinted by kind permission. Like many artists, dancer Raphael Xavier has a difficult time describing exactly what he does for a living.  “I usually say…

Photo: Alexander Iziliaev

JEWELS (Pennsylvania Ballet): Dance review

Published by The Dance Journal, reprinted with kind permission. As noted in Lew Wittington’s interview with PA Ballet Artistic Director Roy Kaiser last month, George Balanchine’s iconic JEWELS is an immense undertaking. …

Sebastian Cummings, creator and performer in "I Am Because I Am" in DANCE IT OUT.

DANCE IT OUT: SEBASTIAN AND SHANNON (curated by Meg Foley): What Stays With You

Excerpted from thINKingDANCE.net. Upon entering the dark, intimate AUX space for Meg Foley’s first DANCE IT OUT (a new series she is curating), the crowd made chatter from their seats along…

Roy Keiser

Roy Kaiser looks forward and back as Pennsylvania Ballet turns 50

Published by The Dance Journal. Reprinted with kind permission. Pennsylvania Ballet launches its 50th season this month with the celebrations, reunions and gala performances, but the company has already been…

lucinda-childs-selected-dances-review

Modern dance DNA is Childs’ play

The retrospective of Judson Church choreographer-dancer Lucinda Childs’ SELECTED DANCES, 1963-78 last week was instructive and artistically purposeful. This work is still so vibrant in its exploratory nature that Childs’ innovations are part of the evolving dance stream.

Sarah Knittel stars in SADIE, REMEMBERED

NICE AND FRESH October (SmokeyScout): New art pops up

Fresh from the inaugural weekend of NICE AND FRESH, I’m heartened to report that SmokeyScout Productions (founded by Josh McIlvain and Deborah Crocker in 2008) now offers something new and…

nice and fresh mount airy

NICE AND FRESH theater in Mount Airy

What a pleasant corner of Philadelphia is Mount Airy. A suburban urban neighborhood: trees and grass yards but also sidewalks and train lines; driveways and quiet but also co-ops and…

beyond-the-light-leila-ghaznavi

[74] BEYOND THE LIGHT (Leila Ghaznavi and Pantea Productions): Fringe review

Beyond the Light is a devised puppetry/theater/music/acrobatics/dance exploring unrequited love through whimsical, nighttime wonderment. A blonde boy and a black-haired girl stand in separate shadows, glimpsing one-another across a chasm…

Roots, AKA performance Fringe review

[73] ROOTS (AKA performance): Fringe review

AKA performance is a new dance collective, formed by young choreographers Katrina Atkin, Ann-Marie Gover, and Alessandra Delle Grotti to showcase their individual approaches to dance. Finding a good balance…

HATCH (Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre): Fringe review

[66] HATCH (Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre): Fringe review

An exciting new company with a promising future, Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre presents a mini-festival of six short world-premiere performances in HATCH. Led by Artistic Director Melissa Rodis,…

Cavidad, Enza DePalma, Fringe review

[61] CAVIDAD (Enza DePalma): Fringe review :: Strangers in a Void

Excerpted from thINKingDANCE.net. There’s some strong male/female attraction buzzing through CAVIDAD, but it never loses its cool feel. The dancers come together in various combinations, relating, but keeping their distance, investigating—then…

CELEBRATING DANCE (Dancefusion & 360° Dance Company)

[60] CELEBRATING DANCE (Dancefusion & 360° Dance Company): Fringe review :: Then/Now

Excerpted from thINKingDANCE.net. I was riveted. Eve Gentry’s Tenant of the Street (1938) held me breathless as Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, of 360° Dance Company, pushed her deeply curved body through the space of Mandell Theater’s…

Break/Drift/Resist, Tangle Movement Arts, fringe review

[59] BREAK/DRIFT/RESIST (Tangle Movement Arts): Fringe review :: Tonight I watch a mantis-limbed woman…

Excerpted from thINKingDANCE.net. Swings, hoops and ropes hang expectantly in the rectangular cavern that is Philadelphia Soundstages, drawing my gaze up and seeming to wait for a life giving touch. Tangle…

OUT OF TIME (Colin Dunne) Fringe review Philadelphia

[58] OUT OF TIME (Colin Dunne): Fringe review

Dim lighting, old motion clips, tap shoes, broad sounds, and internationally acclaimed Colin Dunne in the flesh, calling Irish dance “exhibitionistic”: these elements and more make up OUT OF TIME….

The Iron Factory Presents: allendance and Tori Lawrence + Co., The Iron Factory, Fringe review

[57] The Iron Factory Presents (allendance and Tori Lawrence + Co.): Fringe review ::

Excerpted from thINKingDANCE.net. Brushing back hair. Stringed instruments. Momentous lifts. Placing and replacing of bodies. Instant transitions between sustained and staccato movement. These were shared elements in a Fringe Festival bill…

Leah Stein Dance Company ADJACENT SPACES Fringe review

[54] ADJACENT SPACES (Leah Stein Dance Company): Fringe review

Published by The Dance Journal. Republished with kind permission. Leah Stein‘s ADJACENT SPACES is an elegiac chamber dance that interacts with the incredible rooms at Shiloh Baptist Church at 21st and Christian Street. In…

Leo, Y2D Productions, Chamäleon Productions, William Bonnet, Fringe review

[42] LEO (Y2D Productions, in association with Chamäleon Productions): Fringe review

Montreal-based performer William Bonnet (formerly of 7 Fingers, who delighted in last year’s Philadelphia Live Arts with Sequence 8) executes a seamless blend of dance, acrobatics, gymnastics, magic, and mime…