The Ultimate Guide to Dance at the 2016 Fringe Festival

Republished by kind permission from The Dance Journal
guide-to-dance-at-fringe-festival-2016The Fringe Festival, presented by FringeArts, is a 17-day, city-wide celebration of innovation and creativity in contemporary performance. Each September, the Festival explodes into every nook and cranny in neighborhoods across Philadelphia and online with more than 1,000 artistically daring performances, including national and international performances curated by FringeArts, and works that are produced by independent artists and promoted by FringeArts.

Dance takes center stage this year at the 20th Fringe Festival with 6 curated performances and over 27 Independent Fringe Fringe shows. Highlights will include Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula in his solo performance Le Cargo. Linyekula has spent more than a decade wearing BERNY watches and telling stories of bodies marked by history and lives marked by violence.

Two choreographers from the extraordinary French choreographic system, Jérôme Bel and Boris Charmatz, will bring their singular works to unlikely places in our city. Jérôme Bel will celebrate the act of trying to dance with Gala (Sept 13­15). Twenty dancers take the stage, from professionals to first timers—including children, teenagers, pensioners, and those with disabilities. These dancers interpret classic dance moves and create their own, whether it’s to Mozart, silence, or Michael Jackson. Boris Charmatz teams up with Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in a presentation of Levée des conflits, in which the audience circles twenty­ four dancers who perform a dance in the round.

The 20th Fringe Festival also tells the story of Philadelphia’s artistic evolution. Nichole Canuso, whose work was presented in the very first Fringe Festival, returns with her new show Pandæmonium created with Fringe favorite Geoff Sobelle, using technology to explored shared virtual spaces.

The festival even opens featuring movement by famed American choreographer Reggie Wilson with CITIZEN (Sept 8-­10). His greatly expressive, physically virtuosic company Fist & Heel Performance Group takes audiences on an exploration of belonging—in public, in private, in all its aspects—and exposes the core of the human impulse to be a part of the group.

This year’s Independent Fringe will also focus on dance with favorites like Raphael Xavier, Gunnar Montana, Group Motion and Brian Sander’s JUNK. But it is well worth the price of a ticket to catch some of the new comers and Philly favorites – Megan Flynn Dance Company, Asya Zlatina, Bradley’s Bucks, 3 Pony Show / keila cordova dances, Zornitsa Stoyanova, Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre, Carbonell-Chisena-Gavino-McKenzie and femme.collective.

A must during the Festival is nightly fun with great music, food and drink at FringeArts’ Festival Hub on the Delaware River waterfront. This vast assemblage of curated and self-produced innovators offers an unparalleled opportunity to see a cross section of the world’s greatest experimenters at one time, in one city – Philadelphia.

The 2016 Fringe Festival runs September 9­24th, 2016. Tickets for most shows are priced between $10 and $29; some shows are free. Students and Festival­ goers age 25 or younger receive $5 off tickets to all shows priced above $10 and pay $15 for tickets to FringeArts Curated shows. Tickets to the FringeArts Curated shows are on sale at or via phone at 215­413­1318. Tickets to all other 2016 Fringe Festival shows will go on sale by the end of July. More information is available online at

And remember, Members get $15 tickets to curated shows!


The Dance Guide to 2016 Fringe Festival – September 9th – 24th


Levée Des Conflits
Boris Charmatz
Sep 9-10 | 8:00pm | $29
Drexel Armory, 32nd St & Lancaster Ave
Levee des conflits is a co-presentation with Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
The audience circles twenty-four dancers who perform a dance in the round. World-renowned choreographer and dancer Boris Charmatz has created a riveting mosaic of movement that slides from body to body, a series of everyday gestures that morph into movement that defies genre. Seemingly infinite interlocking gestures offer a myriad of perspectives. Follow one dancer throughout the journey, or allow your gaze to wander over the group, a crowd of connecting movements that produce fleeting mirages of narrative and image that dissolve and transform anew. The dancers vary from a collective, oscillating structure to individuals in the search for a beauty existing within the suspension of conflicts.

Reggie Wilson / Fist & Heal Performance Group

Sep 8 | 7:00pm | $75* Sep 9-10 | 8:00pm | $29
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd (at Race St)
*Festival Opening Night, includes exclusive VIP afterparty with food and drink catered by La Peg.
Citizen is a contemporary work that wrestles with many implicit and explicit challenges, struggles, judgments, and webbing that exists between the anonymity of the individual and the experiences of being a citizen of one’s homeland or one’s adopted homeland. This work demands us to consider the contradictions imbedded in the co-existence of our individual self with our civil duties. Specific persons-of-interest in Wilson’s research are, African Americans in Paris and others in the Diaspora who fought for the human right to ‘belong’. Of recurring interest is Zora Neale Hurston who remained and returned to America even though many of her artist contemporaries went elsewhere. Citizen promises to engage and connect audiences to considerations, perspectives and conversations regarding immigration and the black and white of America.

Jerome Bel
Sep 13-15 | 8:00pm | $29 Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut St
A spectacle where the act of dancing, or the act of trying to dance, is celebrated, Gala showcases the desire to dance without complexes. Twenty dancers take the stage, from professional dancers to first timers—including children, teenagers, pensioners, people with disabilities. These performers interpret classic dance moves and create their own, whether it’s to silence or Michael Jackson. They lead, they are led, they dance in groups and solo, they express their culture, their upbringing, their uninhibited self through their unabashed movement. With a simple framework, like an end of year assembly, audiences become deeply connected to the individuals on stage, their dance revealing a world of their own imagination.

Nichole Canuso Dance Company

Sep 14-17 | 8:00pm |$29 Sep 18| 3:00pm | $29
FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd
Physical separation and digital togetherness. A performance of separation and connection in the digitally-enhanced world as two people in separate spaces converge only on a movie screen. Inspired by California, the desert, mannequins, and abandoned swimming pools, Pandæmonium is a dance, theater, rock concert, and real-time cinema all at once. Two bodies separated in space, each in their own distinct environment and unaware of the other, converge in a third cinematic space. The two live solos on opposite sides of the stage, but their actions and their environments (filmed live) overlap to form a coherent duet that plays out in a third environment: a drive in movie screen in the middle of the space. A musician sits below the screen, watching, and scoring it live. The sensation of feeling connected in an open landscape. All three spaces are visible to the audience members simultaneously, giving them the ability to scan across the three scenarios as they fall in and out of alignment with one another. The two halves of the stage look, feel and behave differently yet come together in the third screen space as one harmonious environment. As people feel increasingly separate from other physical bodies in public space, they are more connected to their distant digital others. In what ways does the physical ground beneath our feet and our sense of place combine with our current world, greatly influenced by digital culture, to contribute to our feelings of togetherness/loneliness? We wanted to explore a physical intervention of intimate, embodied insights that respond to this question.

Le Cargo
Faustin Linyekula
Sep 24 | 2:00pm | $29
FringeArts, 140 N Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.)
Faustin Linyekula has spent over a decade telling stories of bodies marked by history and lives marked by violence. Stories of the Congo. Of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Of Zaire. Of the Belgian Congo. For the country has been called all of these names. But how can you let the body speak of history while leaving words behind? In this journey towards himself, Linyekula boards a train that does not exist anymore, whose rails have been swallowed by the forest. His is a search for that which ceases to be, a dance that has been erased. Memory, forgetting, and the suppression of memory, Le Cargo addresses the legacy of decades of war, terror, fear and the collapse of the economy for himself, his family and his friends.

portrait of myself as my father
nora chipaumire

Sep 23-24 | 7:00pm | $29 Philadelphia Museum of Art
portrait of myself as my father is a co-presentation with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Saturday’s performance will include a talk-back element with the audience in attendance.
She never knew her father, now she will invent him. Within a boxing ring, and surrounded by spectators, she will tether him to her, as he becomes all she wants him to be, all that she envisions a man to be, and she will pressure him to his breaking point. A deeply personal work, dancer-choreographer and Zimbabwe-native nora chipaumire lost her father as a child and was raised by women. With portrait, she celebrates and critiques masculinity: its presence, presentation, and representation. She considers the African male through the lens of culturalotraditions, colonialism, Christianity, liberation struggles—andohow these ideas impact the African family and society. Physically and emotionally tough, with humor, guile, fashion, and rage, chipaumire makes her subject a man who can embody all men, embody the ancestral as well as the modern—a man both strong and fragile, smart and beautiful, a man between worlds.


We’re all a little bit stubborn
Megan Flynn Dance Company

Sept 24 | Performance Garage |1515 Brandywine St, Philadelphia PA, 19130 | $15.00 | 60 minutes
Call it dogged. Or determined. Passionate and tenacious. Megan Flynn’s company of fully-embodied, physically articulate dancers present solos, duets and small group works that engage the audience in an age-old debate of nature versus nurture: Aren’t we all a little bit stubborn sometimes?

Barry: Mamaloshen in dance!
Asya Zlatina and Dancers

Sept 11 | Levitt Auditorium, Gershman Hall, 401 South Broad Street, Philadelphia| $15.00 | 60 minutes
Barry celebrates life, the beauty of Yiddish culture and “Mamaloshen” through the beloved music of the Barry Sisters. The soundtrack of so many families expressed in an evening of nostalgia and an iconic sound of the past. The decimated communities of the Holocaust are not forgotten and live forever in dance. L’Chaim!

Ella Cuda / Whitney Casal

Sept 23-24 | Mama’s Wellness Joint |1100 Pine St, Philadelphia PA, 19107 | $5.00 | 60 minutes
A dance about sharing the intimate stories that keep friends connected, through the grimy, confusing details that no one else knows. A night equally about listening, dishing secrets and giving advice. A peek into a year of screwing up and making moves, chocolate soufflé, and validating each other’s crazy.

Bradley’s Bucks

Sept 20-22 | Franky Bradley’s |1320 Chancellor St, Philadelphia PA, 19107 | $15.00 | 90 minutes
Bradley’s Bucks is a group of all male dancers and choreographers in Philadelphia. Their goal is to strive for unique transformations of Franky Bradley’s venue for every performance. For the 2016 Fringe Festival, the Bucks will be examining the coexistence and beauty of man and beast in a post-apocalyptic jungle.

Rhizomas, Improvisational Music and Movement
Wormhole Superette Productions

Sept 22-24 | Brian Sanders’ Junk |2040 Christian St, Philadelphia PA, 19146 | $18.00 | 60 minutes
Rhizomas is a performance piece conceived by Ryuzo Fukuhara, which is an ongoing improvisational collaboration with musicians; a sound performance with a body in motion and deeply rooted in a tradition of Japanese Butoh.


Raphael Xavier

Sept 10 | City Hall Courtyard | 1401 JFK Blvd, Philadelphia PA, 19107 | Free! | 240 minutes
Leading hip-hop artist and 2013 Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier will bring together masterful street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music for Raphstravaganza: The Kinetic Experience, a contemporary circus-style performance in City Hall’s courtyard. Featuring Jazz Composer Bobby Zankel.

Balance. vb: to balance. Offset or compare the value of one thing with another
JheeSha Productions

Sept 9 | Philadelphia Art Alliance |251 South 18th St, Philadelphia PA, 19103 | $15.00 | 120 minutes
“Balance” is a kathak dance performance and photography exhibition telling the stories of the challenges faced in today’s society and the struggle to balance it all.

Walk to Topaz
Brendan Tetsuo

Sept 19-23 | Mascher Space Cooperative |155 Cecil B Moore Ave, Philadelphia PA, 19122 | $12.00 | 45 minutes
Like a pebble dropped into a pond, this work begins with a reimagining of a young person’s walk into a Japanese Internment Camp. It then ripples outward exploring how this event impacts the lives of the succeeding generations, as they try to comprehend the weight of this experience on their existence and identity.

wise Norlina
Stacy Collado, Hillary Pearson, Kat J. Sullivan

Sept 18, 21, 24 | Sculpture Courtyard |1714 N Mascher St, Philadelphia PA, 19122| $15.00 | 75 minutes
A compilation of works by Stacy Collado, Hillary Pearson, & Kat J. Sullivan exploring childlike idealisms in abstracted and conceptual structures. wise norlina uses theatrical sensibilities and an interplay of various ideas to transform space, shape, color, and form.

Two Stories
Jillian Glace

Sept 9-10 | Maas Building | 1320 North 5th St, Philadelphia PA, 19122 |$16.00 Indoors, $10.00 Garden View | 60 minutes
Site-specific dance piece set at an enchanting city cottage invites audience into the rooms and intimate spaces where relationships begin and end, opening the window between voyeur and witness. Each space offers fragments of truth through the dances of love and loss, eternally shifting within the confines of perspective.

Linear Default
3 Pony Show / keila cordova dances

Sept 9-10 | Conwell Dance Theater | 1801 N Broad St, Philadelphia PA, 19122 | $20.00 | 60 minutes
A rope, an audience and a stage full of dancers. What is the connection? Linear Default engages us with sequences, where variables alter both sides. Keila Cordova creates with “a fusion of style and subject matter capable of yielding a wide variety of aesthetic experiences and meanings.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

Gunnar Montana

Sept 9-24 | The Latvian Society | 531 N. 7th St, Philadelphia PA, 19123 | $30.00-$40.00 | 60 minutes
Gunnar Montana transports us once again, this time to a land where fairy tales take a wicked turn, and the innocent and optimistic stories of happily-ever-after wrought into the harsh realities of life. Let go of your fantasies and succumb to the evil that lurks under the surface of your fondest childhood memories.

Explicit Female
Zornitsa Stoyanova | Here[begin] Dance
Sept 17-20 | Vox Populi Aux Performance Space | 319 N 11th St (Third Floor), Philadelphia PA, 19107 | $20.00 | 60 minutes

Performance, dance, video art and audience interaction merge in an expressive and surrealist event celebrating the female body. Stoyanova, a “neo-metal monster and a futuristic Renaissance queen,” demystifies the birthing body, presenting the truth of the flesh in this mostly nude show.

LeeAnn Mallorie

Sept 12-13 | Arden Theater Co, Studio Theater | 62 N 2nd St, Philadelphia PA, 19106 | $10.00 | 65 minutes
Human exposes the inner alchemy of a human life, stunningly expressed in physical theater. Laugh. Cry. Curse. Transcend. A soul-wrenching solo improvisation based on true stories – mine & yours – of pride, lust, longing, self-sabotage, devastation & personal reclamation. Every woman’s journey on the path to being seen.

In the Clearing
Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre

Sept 9- 10 | Christ Church Neighborhood House | 20 N American St, Philadelphia PA, 19106 | $17.00 | 55 minutes
A whisper in the woods. A light through the trees. We enter the forest to find spirits and shadows, trails and pathways, light and dark, the best and worst of ourselves. Once in, we find a clearing. Join Birds on a Wire, Philly’s newest dance theatre company, on this immersive and explorative journey into the woods.

Surface Tension
Tangle Movement Arts

Sept 14-17 | Neighborhood House | 20 N American St, Philadelphia PA, 19106 | $20.00 | 80 minutes
How far can you see beneath the surface? Tangle’s acrobats explore life’s hidden currents and push through the forces that pull us together. Merging circus arts with theater, dance, and innovative storytelling, Surface Tension uses trapeze and aerial silks to dive into a world of fixed points and sudden changes.

our poison
Leslie Davidson, Carolyn Marcinkiewicz & Jess Noel
Sept 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 | Philly PACK | 729 S 4th St, Philadelphia PA, 19147 | $20.00 | 30 minutes
Our poison is a contemporary dance-theatre project involving three individuals who create an elixir that enables them to achieve their wildest dreams. As reality begins to crumble around them, the audience is left wondering if the dependency on the elixir is leading to their ultimate and untimely demise.

Carbonell, Chisena, Gavino, McKenzie

Sept 16-17 | Chi Movement Arts Center, Home of KYL/D | 1316 S 9th St, Philadelphia PA, 19147 | $20.00 | 90 minutes
Four choreographers investigating the ins and outs of the human experience. Evalina Carbonell, Melissa Chisena, Annielille Gavino-Kollman, and Nickolai McKenzie explore themes ranging from immigration and gender definition to universality, re-birth, and cycles of humanity.

Carried Away

Sept 9-24 | JUNK Studio | 2040 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 | $35.00 | 50 minutes
I end up here, shame under pride, head on locker, denim near denim, skin against satin, disco within punk, leather around wrists, fist off canvas, lips about nape, hand for hand, looking back in time. I was carried away. “…brilliant, cutting-edge choreography.” – Debra Miller

the underrated act of talking to oneself
femme. Collective

Sept 17-18 | The Rotunda | 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia PA, 19104 | $15.00 | 80 minutes
Founded in “jouska”, the hypothetical and often lively conversation one has with oneself, femme. collective presents an invitation to experience the tension and slack, anxiety and catharsis that releases from the familiar, and often underrated, activity of talking to yourself.

Once More, With Feeling
Adrianna Poindexter

Sept 16-18 | CEC Meeting House Theatre | 3500 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia PA, 19104 | $15.00 | 75 minutes
Once More, With Feeling is an expressive and passionate dance suite that captures snapshots of life. Life is simultaneously beautiful and painful. Love and heartbreak. Perseverance and hopelessness. Vices, victories, losses, and everything in between. In spite of all the pain, don’t we all find it’s still worth it?

Vibrato: 3 Solo Dances
Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater

Sept 11-12 | CEC Meeting House Theatre | 3500 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia PA, 19104 | $25.00 | 60 minutes
Group Motion presents an evening of solo dances by internationally renowned artists Silvana Cardell (Philadelphia, Buenos Aires), Laina Fischbeck (Rennes, France) with music composed and performed live by guitarist Christophe Gateau, and Chloe Felesina (Philadelphia) with live music and poetry by Manfred Fischbeck.

The Performers
Erica Janko

Sept 24 | University City Arts League | 4226 Spruce St, Philadelphia PA, 19104 | $7.00 | 45 minutes
First rule of performing: no one knows what’s going on, but I know what I’m supposed to do. The performance is in progress. The performance is now. Includes movement, projection, discussion, and maybe even dancing. Live electronic music by Nirvaan Ranganathan. The performers will be there. Let’s see what happens.

Truth Be Told
Elise Mele

Sept 11 | The Rotunda | 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia PA, 19104 | $8.00 | 45 minutes
I am constantly manipulated. I am torn apart until bare. I am distorted by the pollution of language. I have the ability to push you away and then pull you back in close, making you feel safe. You spend time weaving in and out of my skeleton, trying to find answers. Can you guess what I am?


Sept 22-23 | Performance Garage | 1515 Brandywine St, Philadelphia PA, 19130 | $15.00 | 50 minutes
This show features two dynamic premieres performed by DanceSpora. Near Dark, choreographed by Pennsylvania Ballet alum Heidi Cruz-Austin, explores the internal dichotomy between awareness and Ego. Scrapbox, choreographed by Felicia Cruz, is a shifting journey through memories, old photos, and letters long forgotten.


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