March 2, 2014 |
The white floor cover on the Verizon Hall stage suggested something left over from a painting crew. Instead, the special surface was for Philadanco in its Friday collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra - an artistically gratifying enterprise that showed how easily such organizations can come together in an identity-enhancing experience. The meeting point was Poulenc's 1929 Aubade, a Jazz Age ballet/piano concerto hybrid performed with choreography by Tommie-Waheed Evans that wasn't out to change the world but showed off the quintet of female dancers well and authenticated the music's content.
March 2, 2014 |
These days, there is as much a global arts scene as a global economy. Terry Fox, executive director of Philadelphia Dance Projects, curates programs that partner Philadelphia dance groups with others from across the country. On Thursday night at the Performance Garage, she made her first international match: Nora Gibson's Temporal Objects and, from Ireland, John Scott's Body Duet . The two works looked and sounded out of sync. Yet among the common denominators were devotion to technique, razor-sharp dancing, and a laserlike vision of each work's arc. Gibson, who founded the Nora Gibson Performance Project here in 2009, is a serious choreographer who braces her works with the formalism of her ballet training, then isolates those movement phrases into still frames.
February 28, 2014 |
FORMER NEW YORK Rangers center Sean Avery is set to appear on "Dancing With the Stars," according to a report. Maybe it's time the show changed it's name to "Dancing with the Ex-Stars" or "Dancing with the Scars" (Avery made People's sexiest scars list in 2007 because of a gash on his lip). According to the New York Post, Avery has been seen training at the New York studio of trainer Tracy Anderson, who has worked with Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez. If Avery is looking for music to dance to, we suggest he select Elvis Costello's "Goon Squad.
February 26, 2014 |
To be Irish is to have an existential dark spot in the soul, an ingrained gateway to fatal despair if it's not kept in check - which is what lies beyond the congenial face of Brian Friel's poetic, bittersweet play Dancing at Lughnasa . Though the play had an international vogue in the 1990s followed by a film starring Meryl Streep, West Philadelphia's Curio Theatre Company made a fine case for revisiting Dancing at Lughnasa at its Friday...
February 23, 2014 |
Dance is art. But sometimes, it's also just pure fun. Rasta Thomas' Bad Boys of Dance brought out all the fireworks Thursday night, when they opened a three-day run at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. It was entertaining, accessible, and yes, artistically sound - if occasionally over the top. The Boys' program is an 80-minute spectacle of tricks, beautiful bodies, and pulsating colored light. The dance seamlessly blends the sharp arm movements of hip-hop and ballet's entrechats and arabesques, with contemporary, jazz, and other forms mixed in, all set to a score of 19 mostly highly recognizable pop songs.
February 23, 2014 |
Egg flats, a huge mass of cotton candy, and a cellphone: These make up the set and props, and provide the music, for the latest world premiere by the Miller Rothlein (MIRO) dance troupe. "From the Spot Where We/You/I Stand (Stood.)" opened Thursday night in the White Space at Crane Arts Old School, presenting one of the most fascinating hours you're likely to spend in a theater this year. It begins with the performers - four superb, professional adult dancers, plus a quartet of extremely talented fourth-graders from the Miller Rothlein outreach program at Girard College - standing like living statues atop pedestals of varying heights made from stacks of egg flats, those gray cardboard squares with ovoid indentations.
February 19, 2014 |
SOCHI - The borders of their uncertainty were broad, from Vancouver to Sochi. From the moment in 2010 when Meryl Davis and Charlie White won an Olympic silver medal, many in the ice-dance world were certain they'd get gold four years later. As splendidly as the American pair performed during that span, there was one stubborn ice rival, and four years was an eternity to wonder. Monday night, as they stood motionless on the Iceberg Skating Palace ice, waiting to start their free skate in the 2014 Olympic finals, they knew, one way or another, there were only four minutes left in their eternity.
February 12, 2014 |
It was cold, polar vortex cold. Schools were closed and heavy snow was on the way. But for nearly 600 dancers, plus supporters bundled up in puffy coats, hats, and blankets outside the Merriam Theater as much as 11 hours ahead of call time, it was worth it. Worth it for the possibility of dancing on TV, working with great choreographers, and maybe a place on the "hot-tamale train" to stardom. That is judge Mary Murphy's signature phrase, and she utters it when a dancer blows her away on So You Think You Can Dance . Murphy, along with Nigel Lythgoe, host Cat Deeley, and Tony-winner guest judge Billy Porter ( Kinky Boots)
February 8, 2014 |
ARIES (March 21-April 19) ***** Friday night you need a break. The question at hand is what do you need a break from? Proceed accordingly, making plans that give you a sense of substance. By Saturday, your wit is sharpened and you sparkle. You draw admirers that you perhaps never knew about. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) **** Friday night you stomp to another beat and those around you respond. They like your two- step. As you gaze out you see perhaps more than one tasty morsel you would like to get to know better.
January 27, 2014
Philadelphia is uniquely placed on the American dance scene thanks to the quantity and quality of our local dance companies. Over the last century and more, no city, outside of New York, has had as many and such varied professional companies. Part of this richness arises from at least five fine university dance departments, which draw talent from all over the country. And part arises from the friendly funding climate, savvy dance audiences, and affordable cost of living here. Dancers love Philadelphia and it loves them back.