Philadanco celebrates 43 years by returning to the Dell

Philadanco will hold its Founder's Day performance at the Dell Music Center.
Philadanco will hold its Founder's Day performance at the Dell Music Center.
Posted: August 14, 2012

PHILADANCO WILL perform at the Dell Music Center on Friday. The world-renowned, homegrown dance troupe has performed at the Dell before, but then it was called the Robin Hood Dell and it didn't look as spiffy as the recently renovated venue looks now. Regardless of the name, this performance will be its first there since 1989.

It is hoped that Friday's performance will be the inaugural Founder's Day event. To honor the company's 43rd year, some familiar faces will take the stage, including Maurice Hines (brother of late actor/dancer Gregory) who will take on hosting duties along with Muhammad Ali's daughter Khailah, as well as Anthony Burrell, a featured dancer on Beyonce's tour.

Philadanco founder Joan Myers Brown, recently named one of the best Philadelphians by Philadelphia magazine, loves the accessibility of that the Dell affords. With a show at, say, the Kimmel Center, people aren't just paying for tickets but parking and possibly a meal. It can turn into an expensive proposition. But the Dell is considerably cheaper and easy to get to, allowing people who may not normally be able to afford a ticket a chance to see the company. "There's a resurgence in interest in dance with shows like ‘So You Think You Can Dance' and ‘Dancing with the Stars.' A lot of kids are interested," Brown said. "It's an art form that's not easily exposed. Even the Kimmel is only 600 seats. But this is a venue with 6,000 seats."

Brown said that this event will act as an important fund-raiser for her company when arts funding is drying up. The company already has the recognition; it just needs the funds. "We've been around 43 years," Brown said. "I think most people around the line have heard of Philadanco."

The Dell Music Center, 33rd and Dauphin streets, 7 p.m., Friday, $10-$35, $100 for VIP tickets, 215-685-9560, ticketmaster.com.

Contact Molly Eichel at 215-854-5909 or eichelm@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @mollyeichel. Read her blog posts at www.philly.com/entertainment.

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