Dance at Fringe 2013

Published by The DANCE Journal, republished by kind permission.

The hot, muggy dog days of Summer are upon us and things have slowed down a bit in the way of dance performances in the region. However, just around the corner is an extremely busy Fall dance season. This is no less the case for the folks at the FringeArts Festival!

Taking place September 5–22, the 2013 Fringe Festival presented by FringeArts (formerly known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe) is bigger and better than ever in its 17th year, with 18 days of both presented and neighborhood performances in cutting-edge theater, dance, music, visual and multidisciplinary arts. This year’s lineup of Presented Fringe includes seven international artists, four world premieres and two reimagined productions from previous Fringe Festivals.

Here is a sneak preview of the 2013 festival programming for dance in the Presented Fringe!

Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak

[ WORLD PREMIERE ] Beloved Philadelphia dance company Brian Sanders’ JUNK, known for such Festival favorites as Urban Scuba (2009), Sanctuary (2010) and The Gate Reopened (2012), presents the world premiere Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak, a new site-specific dance for the 23rd Street Armory packed with raw physical prowess, striking imagery, live music and a “sweet” in-your-face attitude.


[ ARTIST IN RESIDENCE ] Renowned choreographer Reggie Wilson and his Fist & Heel Performance Group look at how we lead and why we follow with the world premiere of Moses(es), an intense, poetic work of nearly unlimited movement performed by six virtuosic dancers. Inspired by Wilson’s travels to Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Mali,Moses(es) explores the migration of people and culture from Africa and explores the effects migration has on beliefs and body movement, all within a contemporary dance framework.

Out of Time

[ MEMOIR IN MOTION ] Best known for his work in Riverdance, Colin Dunne mixes his traditional Irish step dance with bold documentary-style performance in Out of Time. Projected films of dancers from the 1930s onward — including himself as a 10-year-old boy — accompany Dunne on stage as he weaves storytelling and movement to chronicle his journey from child dance prodigy to leading figure in step dance. According to Michael Seaver of Irish Times, the piece is “an intimate, sincere and funny artistic calling card which tells us why he is who he is, and how he is where he is.”

As FringeArts continues its tradition of providing an unjuried platform for artists to develop their visions in total freedom from curatorial barriers, hundreds more artists will participate in the Neighborhood Fringe (formally Philly Fringe) to bring their work to Festival audiences. This confluence of risk-taking, independently produced shows animates the spaces of Philadelphia and enriches the city’s communities.

Hosted in venues all over Philadelphia, including traditional theater spaces, a historic penitentiary, a library and many others, the 2013 Fringe Festival is a platform for daring and innovative artists, bringing leaders of the contemporary performing arts world to Philadelphia stages and giving local performers a chance to showcase their best work. Each year, the Festival draws tens of thousands of people who come to experience Philadelphia’s thriving cultural scene and interact with hundreds of artists at thousands of performances.

Tickets to the 2013 Fringe Festival are on sale at or via phone at 215-413-1318. Tickets to Neighborhood Fringe shows will go on sale later in July.

Stay tuned for a preview of dance to come in the Neighborhood Fringe in our next Dance segment!

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About the author

Steven Weisz for The Dance Journal

While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-70s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of MM2 Modern Dance Company, an incubator, providing support, space and opportunities for new emerging dance artists, who wish to explore the choreographic process, in order to cultivate and introduce new work to new audiences.