March 20, 2015
THINK OF "Dirty Dancing," and it's likely the first thought conjured is of "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," the hearts-take-flight duet sung by Bill Medley (of The Righteous Brothers) and Jennifer Warnes that is the signature tune from the small-budget 1987 flick that today stands as a pop-culture totem of the Reagan administration era. But the Oscar-and-Grammy-winning song's lyricist is far too modest to claim sole responsibility for the success of the film whose stage version hits the Academy of Music Tuesday for a 13-night, 16-performance run. "For me, it's more than just the movie and just the song," offered Franke Previte (pronounced PREV-it)
March 20, 2015 |
It takes years for Tony Award-winning shows to make it from Broadway to Philadelphia. But Jessica Lang earned a Bessie Award - the dance equivalent of a Tony - in October, and her work is opening at the Annenberg Center on Thursday. Randy Swartz is thrilled. "We want to see the work she did last year in New York that won her that Bessie, and that's what we're bringing to Philadelphia audiences," says Swartz, the artistic director of Dance Celebration, which is presenting Jessica Lang Dance.
March 16, 2015 |
For more than 50 years, Patti LaBelle, the pride of Southwest Philadelphia, has owned center stage, effortlessly blowing her audiences away with vocal highs in "New Attitude" and "Over the Rainbow" and sultry, soul-stirring lows in "Little Girls" and "You Are My Friend. " But starting Monday at 8 p.m., the soul-music icon will embark on a new endeavor that, she admits, has her shaking in her stilettos. LaBelle will compete in the 20th season of ABC's hit show Dancing With the Stars . Her partner, Artem Chigvintsev, might have a hard time keeping up with LaBelle.
March 13, 2015 |
He would be in town for only two weeks. That meant that area students of Indian classical dance had less than 14 days to be taught by the 79-year-old master. So they came from miles away, ages 5 to 55, to learn a 2,000-year-old dance under the instructive eye of C.V. Chandrasekhar of Chennai, India. "Never try to slide your feet," advised the dancer and choreographer as he demonstrated a graceful hop. "Jump, and you'll be able to find your position. " Chandrasekhar, a scholar and interpreter of Indian classical dance, taught the students Saturday at a studio at a Wayne shopping center during an exclusive U.S. engagement that will culminate in a performance at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia.
March 10, 2015 |
New Jersey's public-sector unions don't particularly trust Gov. Christie: He has twice underfunded their pension system since he signed a law in 2011 obligating the state to contribute more, and last month he again proposed a payment that falls short of what's required by statute. So to Statehouse observers, the participation of the state's largest teachers' union in private talks with a commission the governor had tasked with proposing changes to public employee benefits marked a significant development.
March 6, 2015 |
GREENVILLE, N.C. - March Madness might be in Temple's future, but the only thing the Owls are focused on right now is Connecticut. After winning at East Carolina, 70-56, last night, the Owls have tomorrow's regular-season finale against visiting UConn and the American Athletic Conference Tournament left to try to pad their NCAA Tournament resume, but they insist they are not worried about what the bracketologists are thinking. At least not yet. "That's what I've been preaching for the past couple days.
February 23, 2015 |
After an hour of rocking the dance floor, Penny Warn takes a break. "I think people with disabilities have more fun than regular people," she says, as about 120 developmentally disabled men and women party like it's not a frigid Thursday evening in February. Inside Paris Caterers in Berlin Township, the heat is on. Fist-bumps, high-fives, and funky floor moves are the rule. And the hits keep on thumping, thanks to "DJ Dave" Michaels. "It's a fun night," says Robin Rowand, 32, of Pittsgrove.
February 15, 2015 |
The dance is Polynesian and contemporary; the story is from New Zealand's history, yet the themes are familiar. You could cut-and-paste in many people's stories, but for Neil Ieremia, the Samoan-New Zealander artistic director of the company Black Grace from New Zealand, the struggle is for Pacific Islanders. The company opened a run Thursday night at the Annenberg Center, presented by Dance Celebration. In his "Gathering Clouds," Ieremia speaks of a Tongan Christian priest arrested for overstaying his welcome, of 30 percent of the population filling 80 percent of the jail spots, of getting teased for the shape of his eyes, of new immigrants holding on to traditional songs and dances, and of their children trying to assimilate.
February 9, 2015 |
Time was running out in Denver's Super Bowl XXXIII victory over Atlanta when the cattle drive began. Reporters, shuffling unthinkingly like barn-ward Herefords at sunset, began exiting the press box and crowding into a single elevator. Reaching the basement of the Miami stadium, we were herded - literally herded - into a gated corral. Soon the insufficient space was overflowing, the brays of unhappy, uncomfortable sportswriters mingling with the noisy postgame atmosphere. Finally, we were unpenned and marched down a narrow chute to a place where Broncos and Falcons sat in raised pulpits like gods we'd come to worship.