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.
January 23, 2014 |
DESPITE THE frightful weather, the show must go on for "So You Think You Can Dance. " "I used to come here in the '70s when I used to choreograph for Sound of Philadelphia bands like The Three Degrees," said Nigel Lythgoe , creator, executive producer and judge on "So You Think You Can Dance. " "But now it's 15 degrees below. " The Fox reality show, which plucks a dancer out of obscurity and awards him or her with a cash prize and the title of America's Favorite Dancer, is in Philly for the first time.
January 18, 2014 |
When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the 20th century's saint of civil rights, told the world about the dreams he had, the list didn't include being lionized alongside American presidents such as Lincoln and Washington. It didn't include a holiday bearing his name on which all Americans, of whatever race, would celebrate the freedoms that only racial equality provides. While most of the MLK Monday holiday is dedicated to events humble, honorable, and often tinged with spirituality, there are parties throughout the weekend that include the sort of respectable dance-centric festivity worthy of King's potent message.
January 13, 2014 |
BOSTON - The row of perfect-10 artistry scores they'd just accumulated were visible on an adjacent TV as Charlie White mentioned to reporters that he and Meryl Davis were "lucky to be injury-free. " The phrase animated Davis, who instantly dipped deeply as if performing one final element of the spectacular free-skate that won the ice-dancing duo a sixth national title Saturday at these 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The superstitious White merely was reaching to knock on a wood railing.
January 12, 2014 |
BOSTON - This city, painful as it is for Philadelphians to acknowledge, is a showcase for sports champions. The Red Sox won the World Series last fall. Tom Brady and his Patriots begin their quest for a fourth Super Bowl on Saturday. And the Celtics and Bruins have so many banners that TD Garden's rafters resemble a sports quilt. So what better setting for Meryl Davis and Charlie White to remind the skating world that they are ice dancing's world champions and 2014 Winter Olympic favorites?
January 12, 2014 |
Anna Drozdowski's dance-centered Thirdbird and Dustin Hurt's music-centered Bowerbird have been bringing innovative and often startlingly brilliant artists to Philadelphia for several years. One of those presenting organizations' most successful collaborations included dancer/performance artist Eleanor Bauer two years ago. Her "Big Girls Do Big Things" was so smart and engaging, I reacted with great excitement when I heard she was returning. On Thursday night at Christ Church Neighborhood House, she opened a short run - which by the time you read this will mercifully be over.
December 27, 2013 |
JASON GARRETT'S bio doesn't say if the Dallas Cowboys' coach was on the debate team at Princeton, but Garrett certainly held his rhetorical ground yesterday during a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters, their ranks bolstered by a couple of national media folk who happened to be at NovaCare for the buildup to Sunday evening's battle for the NFC East title. Garrett first trotted out what he has been saying all week: That quarterback Tony Romo is day-to-day with a back injury, that Kyle Orton has been leading the Cowboys through practice.
December 15, 2013 |
The 15-year-old dance company BodyVox first appeared at Annenberg Center in 2001. This is the group's fifth visit as one of the Dance Celebration series' favorites - and one of mine, as well. BodyVox, based in Portland, Ore., is a winsome company of a dozen top-tier dancers. Artistic directors Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, both of whom dance in the company, are alums of Momix and Pilobolus. That heritage shows best in certain sections of their eight-part paean to films and filmmaking, The Cutting Room , which the two conceived and choreographed.
December 4, 2013 |
WHEN a scantily clad woman performs on a pole, you don't expect onlookers to get all emotional. You expect leers. Cheers. Even jeers. But tears? Not so much. Still, peepers moistened more than once on a recent Saturday in Manayunk, when a few dozen students at Awakenings Pole Fitness pulled off backbends, arabesques and other positively poetic dance moves - all while clinging to shiny brass posts. In the evening's first solo, a Rubenesque blonde lovingly dedicated her elegant aerial postures to her boyfriend, who sat in the front row. Later that night, advanced students from Awakening's King of Prussia studio swung around, upside down, to A Perfect Circle's deep, dark version of John Lennon's "Imagine.
December 3, 2013 |
Jabriel is an outgoing and friendly 12-year-old. He is actively involved in his church and is part of its youth ministry. A natural performer, he has a beautiful voice and also has great dance moves. He recently participated in a school play; he was a member of the Temptations. The show was a big hit, and Jabriel was one of the main performers. Enrolled in the sixth grade, Jabriel does well in school. He is very conscientious and works hard to please his teachers. He enjoys receiving praise for his efforts and likes to earn rewards for his academic achievements.