May 12, 2015 |
After 32 years, the party is over for Dance Celebration, the popular series of dance concerts presented at West Philadelphia's Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. The series and name will be retired as of Monday. The decision arose from the diverging artistic visions of co-presenters Dance Affiliates and the Annenberg Center, said F. Randolph Swartz, artistic director of Dance Affiliates, and Michael J. Rose, managing director of the Annenberg. But there is a happy result: Each organization will go ahead with its own series as Dance Affiliates moves to Center City.
May 10, 2015 |
Wearing nothing but G-strings, two men and a woman showed off their superhuman strength and chiseled physiques Thursday as they arranged themselves into a series of impossible shapes atop a small table at the Annenberg Center. The ever-changing relationships among the trio - made up of Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern, Jordan Kriston, and Mike Tyus - suggested both seduction and violence. And that was just the opening number. The popular Pilobolus Dance Theater combines collaboratively choreographed dance pieces with short films that act as visual palate cleansers and give the stage crew time to set up for the next item.
April 26, 2015
The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings By Marc Kushner TED/Simon & Schuster. 176 pp. $16.99) Reviewed by David L. Ulin What is the future of architecture? That question grows more compelling the more we think about cities as vast networks in which infrastructure and sustainability are two sides of a very complicated dynamic. The way we build teaches important lessons about who we are. Not only that, suggests Marc Kushner in The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings , but also "the world's 1.75 billion smartphones are fundamentally changing the way architecture is consumed.
April 10, 2015 |
No one can say she isn't a good sport. The day after fainting during the first televised Philadelphia mayoral debate, an upbeat Lynne M. Abraham determinedly went about her campaign, refusing to allow even 50 Cent to get in her way. With the rap star's "In da Club" blaring as an intro, the 74-year-old former district attorney good-naturedly endured a request that she, along with the other would-be mayors, dance her way to the candidates' table...
March 29, 2015 |
It's hard to believe that Koresh Dance Company has been performing on Philadelphia boards for almost 25 years. Harder still to think that Melissa Rector is still shining in every performance as she has since 1991. And hardest of all not to be moved by Aftershock , artistic director and founder Ronen Koresh's love letter to his adoptive homeland. It opened the company's spring run at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on Thursday night. Aftershock is episodic, deriving perhaps from Koresh's biography.
March 28, 2015 |
Remember Baby's thrilling run and Johnny's spectacular lift at the end of the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing ? Well, onstage, in this national touring production at the Academy of Music, there's no run and not much thrill. It's more like dusty dancing than dirty dancing, as the sexy electricity has been replaced with nostalgia. Eleanor Bergstein, screenwriter for the film, wrote the book for this musical, which is faithful to the original (according to my companion for the evening, a fan of the movie who knows all the songs and most of the lines and who met her first husband back in the day at Grossinger's, a Catskills resort much like the Kellerman's of the show)
March 28, 2015 |
The Lantern Theater Company's current production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is so fresh, funny, and full of life that nothing in it offends. Were it not for K.O. DelMarcelle's winking tango choreography and some strong performances, this Shrew would almost bore with its innocent mirth. In Taming of the Shrew , the Bard's title refers to Katherine (Joanna Liao), a fire-tongued scold (the script refers to her as much worse), whose nasty attitude terrorizes the townsfolk of Padua, in northern Italy.
March 27, 2015 |
The concept, one imagines, inspired not a few raised eyebrows: Shakespeare plus tango. Intriguing, no? Or merely perplexing? So was born the Lantern Theater Company's current production of The Taming of the Shrew , which runs through May 3. The romantic comedy, written between 1590 and 1592, is a sometimes heartwarming, sometimes caustic take on the battle of the sexes, set in the Italian city state of Padua, and here updated to the 1930s....
March 25, 2015 |
The annual "Shut Up & Dance" show gives the dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet a chance to stretch their wings, to do something new, to play. At this year's performance, Saturday at the Forrest Theater, some tried their hand at choreography, while others danced front and center for a change. They and some of their friends in the dance community were there to raise money for the nonprofit Manna - which delivers free meals to those with life-threatening illnesses - while doing what they do best.
March 22, 2015 |
What made Jessica Lang Dance's debut in Dance Celebration at Annenberg Center for the Arts on Thursday night - Philadelphia's introduction to the troupe - such a pleasurable surprise was the range of the six works on Lang's artfully planned program. She's the Bucks County girl who made good choreographing for companies around the world and is now a Bessie Award-winning choreographer in New York. Lang set a masterful table with the first Mondrian-inspired piece, "Lines Cubed," and as tastes of the variety of her choreography, offered five more delectable courses.