June 22, 2015 |
A Mendelssohn Club concert? An edgy new work by the Leah Stein Dance Company? Or a guided meditation? With Turbine , the new site-specific dance/choral work premiering this weekend at the Fairmount Water Works, all three descriptions apply. Fifty-eight choristers and 18 dancers will perform among the trees, near the gazebo and other Water Works sites - while also (when possible) taking the audience with them. "Blend your voices into sounds within and beyond the trees," reads the first page of the score by Seattle composer Byron Au Yong.
March 11, 2015 |
Ta'Quan Allen's first role was Little Simba in a Camden elementary school production of The Lion King . "I got up there," he recalls, "and I actually nailed it. " Now 19, Allen - a 2014 graduate of the city's Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy - is setting his sights on bigger stages. "My job now," he says, "is freelancing my talents. " So far, so good. In February, Allen spent two weeks working for MTV in New York, where he was a production assistant for the stand-up, hip-hop comedy show Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out . Allen was on the set as episodes for the forthcoming season on MTV were taped live at the midtown concert venue Terminal 5. "I wanted to cry every second, because I was around everything I ever dreamed of," Allen says.
February 10, 2015 |
Zymir has his heart set on becoming a fashion designer and developing his own brand of "Z" jeans. In fact, he already has made a sketch of them. That's quite ambitious for an 11-year-old, even one as stylish and creative as Zymir. During a recent visit to Philadelphia University's fashion design department, he watched several garments being made and learned the process start to finish. He also got some tips from designer Jay McCarroll, winner of the debut Project Runway competition in 2004.
December 19, 2014 |
Unlike, say, Thanksgiving's green bean casserole, or Hanukkah latkes, what we drink during the winter season isn't necessarily rooted in immovable tradition and high-pressure expectation. And while a glass of supermarket eggnog never goes out of style for some folks, there's plenty of room for innovation in holiday cocktails. Swapping out spirits, going homemade with mixers, adding a new flavor profile with spices or different bitters - all can improve upon or reinvigorate the classics without radically disturbing the toddy-loving status quo. After all, these traditions exist for good reason.
December 13, 2014 |
Coloring outside the lines is a relative concept in the tyrannically ritualized world of classical music. Creativity is welcome - but please, nothing too creative. In reformatting the piano recital Wednesday night at the Kimmel Center the way he did, Jeremy Denk knew he'd better have a compelling justification. Happily, his point in amassing a half-hour block interspersing Schubert and Janácek was something more than a concert-hall invasion of the iPod Shuffle aesthetic. Others on this Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series have manipulated presentation - a joint recital by pianist Richard Goode and soprano Sarah Schafer comes to mind.
December 8, 2014 |
Tom "Chico" Stafford is an imposing figure - both physically, at 5-foot-10, 240 pounds, and by what comes out of his mouth. He apologizes for cursing but says he gets frustrated with his African American community. What especially riles the 64-year-old serial entrepreneur are those who ask for handouts and those who allow money to define them. The latter has happened to hip-hop culture, Stafford said, with rappers whose lyrics degrade women and celebrate drugs and gross consumerism getting all the attention - and a good deal of sales.
December 7, 2014 |
After passing through the property's security gate, rolling up the long drive, finding the 65-foot-long cobblestone courtyard (with pond and waterfall), and seeing what frames that courtyard - a transformed barn with adjacent (also transformed) farmer's cottage, all stone, all picture-perfect - a visitor wonders: Is there a dress code to get in? The answer: No. Linda Thatcher Raichle greets the caller wearing denim. Husband John Duda is barefoot. In their 60s and with previous marriages behind them, the couple are, it seems, as delighted with their Media, Delaware County, home as they are with each other.
December 2, 2014 |
If Michael could spend a day doing anything he wanted, he'd play sports, go hiking, and visit a playground. Better yet, the day would be Halloween, the best holiday of all because he can dress up and play a role in a world spun from his vivid imagination. Creative, curious about everything around him - that's 12-year-old Michael. In school, where he receives special education services, math is his favorite subject, and he gets along well with his teachers and classmates. He also likes to dance, and loves baseball, football, and basketball, which he plays in a school club.
October 27, 2014 |
To which socioeconomic class do you belong? According to a report presented in Los Angeles last month to the CityLab Conference of Mayors and City Leaders, if you live, for instance, in Manayunk, Society Hill, Wynnefield or Fox Chase, you probably are a member of the "creative class. " Members of this "knowledge-based" class comprise more than 75 percent to 88 percent of the population of these and other neighborhoods within the city limits, the majority in and around Center City.
September 21, 2014 |
A few weeks ago, I presented a question from a mother who was looking for an explanation for the smell of tobacco emanating from not just one window air conditioner in her son's bedroom, but from a replacement unit as well. Apparently enough of us have smoked behind our parents' backs over the years that 45 readers offered that as the only explanation for the smell of smoke in the son's bedroom. Jim Zimak, who teaches Philadelphia students about heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning as an instructor at the Thomas A. Edison High School/John C. Fareira Skills Center, was helpful and not judgmental.