December 5, 2015 |
Philadelphia is a great town for tap dance, with local masters ranging from the elegant Germaine Ingram to the exuberant Corinne Karon. But Dorrance Dance is something else again. The four-year-old troupe made its Philadelphia debut Wednesday night at the Prince Theater, presenting excerpts from recent works that demonstrate the performers' technical virtuosity and stylistic range, plus the inventive choreography of company founder Michelle Dorrance. In Act I, the only music was that created by the dancers' feet, thanks to special, handmade wooden taps that produced surprisingly rich sounds.
December 2, 2015 |
Choreographer/dancer Lauren Putty White and husband composer/musician Brent White form the Putty Dance Project. Together with producer/director Phil Sumpter, they created iStand, Stories of an American Civil Struggle, at the Community Education Center over the Thanksgiving weekend. Reviewing sociologically based performances created in almost real time with current events can be dicey. The filter of time can save them from being corny, emotionally overloaded, or lacking in depth.
November 24, 2015 |
Loving and engaging, almost always laughing and smiling, 17-year-old Raymear greets you with a hug when you arrive and gives you an enthusiastic high-five when you leave. He affectionately calls out the names of those he cares about, and blossoms with one-on-one attention. Diagnosed with Down syndrome, Raymear receives special-education services at school and is making significant progress. He is learning the names of his classmates. His favorite activities include swimming, dancing, listening to music, and watching movies and television.
November 20, 2015 |
All good things come to an end. Really good things, however, might need multiple endings. WXPN-FM's Zydeco Crossroads program, originally set to conclude with its grand finale weekend in October, will return one last time (this time for sure!) for a free " Zydeco Crossroads Dance Party" on Saturday at Union Transfer. "We knew there would be a good reaction," WXPN program director Bruce Warren said of the program. "We just didn't realize how good of a reaction there would be. " Zydeco Crossroads , a 16-month partnership between WXPN and KRVS Radio Acadie public radio in Lafayette, La., aims to raise awareness of zydeco, a fast-moving, heel-kicking, bluesy genre with southwest Louisiana roots.
November 11, 2015 |
Dance, as a genre, might not appear conducive to documentary storytelling, what with the lack of words and all. Yet two such projects, both based on sociologies of marginal Philadelphia communities, are set to debut within a week - and a few blocks - of each other. One of these world premieres, at FringeArts, is Home/S. 9th St. by Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, a kinetic tale of migration that draws on interviews with more than 60 immigrants in South Philadelphia. The other, at the Painted Bride, is Pushers from Dance Iquail, based on choreographer Iquail Shaheed's family history of addiction - his father died of a heroin overdose in March - and on conversations with young people from the city's Mantua section, where he grew up. Kun-Yang Lin said dance was uniquely able to convey the essence of lived experience.
November 7, 2015 |
Bodytraffic opened Wednesday night at the Prince Theater with an evening of works that celebrate and explore its very medium - dance. This second program in Dance Affiliates' new NextMove series opened with The New 45 , Richard Siegal's work for company co-artistic director Tina Finkelman Berkett and dancer Guzman Rosado. It had the duo dancing - perhaps in a living room - to a series of jazz tunes. The movement in turns, defined by the music, had an improved feel. The choreographed combinations of pirouettes and jumps, or simple play, had many touches of humor.
November 6, 2015 |
The 215 Festival, part urban rave, part pub crawl, part literary fest, part movable dance party, is back this weekend. Except for a 2010-12 hiatus, the quirky gathering has been going since its 2001 founding by writer Neal Pollack. Opening night is on Thursday at Ortlieb's, and it keeps rocking and reading and dancing from there. City librarians can take to the dance floor on Friday night at Bourbon & Branch in Northern Liberties at the Bibliodiscotheque Dance Party ("dance party freakout, 11 p.m. "!
November 6, 2015 |
In 1973, fans of beloved newsman Walter Cronkite were shocked and appalled when his broadcast of the CBS Evening News was disrupted by a long-haired youth who ran onto the set with a yellow sign that read, "Gays Protest CBS Prejudice. " Mark Segal had arrived. Son of a cabdriver who grew up in near poverty in South Philadelphia, the then-23-year-old activist made history with his stunt, or "zap," as his guerrilla team, the Gay Raiders, called their political actions. Minutes later, Cronkite delivered CBS's very first report on a gay protest when he recounted the incident to viewers with his characteristic grace and reserve.
October 25, 2015 |
In its 30-year history, the Brooklyn dance company Urban Bush Women have performed their black, female, Africanist, and Americanist take-no-guff style on all the continents. Founded by Jawole Will Jo Zollar and nurtured by multiple other mothers and sisters over the years, its repertoire mourns for and celebrates the dancing bodies of African American women in their struggles and triumphs. The company opened Annenberg Center Live's dance series Thursday night. They began with Mash Up , a pastiche of some of the iconic Zollar moves UBW audiences have come to expect and love.
October 17, 2015 |
A new era for dance swept into Philadelphia with the opening Wednesday night of NextMove at Chestnut Street's Prince Theater. After a 32-year run at Dance Celebration at the Annenberg Center, Randy Swartz brings Dance Affiliates in its new incarnation, NextMove, back to Center City, where it began decades ago. An important venue change for him and for Philadelphia, it concentrates more dance downtown than ever before, presenting eight companies in...