August 21, 2015 |
In his martial arts studio in a strip-mall in Bensalem, Ryan Wagner, 29, is better known as "Master Ryan," the teacher who gives out gold stars to "A" students and drills disciples on core values such as humility and respect for parents before teaching them how to, gently but firmly, slam an opponent to the ground. In very different circles, though, Wagner is better known as Napalm - a b-boy (the preferred term for break-dancer) who's among the best in the world. On Saturday, he'll compete against 15 of the best breakers from the U.S. and Canada in the Red Bull BC One North America Final in Orlando, the premier one-on-one competition in the country.
August 20, 2015 |
FUNNYMAN Adam Sandler has helped make a dream come true for an autistic boy from South Philly. Lisa Stagliano is the mother of Santino , a 10-year old who was diagnosed with autism when he was a little boy. As first reported in May by my colleague, Stephanie Farr , Santino began drawing dragons on T-shirts as a way of expressing himself through art. Before long, the shirts he created grew popular in their West Moyamensing neighborhood,...
August 14, 2015 |
The show is called So You Think You Can Dance , but Virgil Gadson, who on Monday made its top 10, doesn't need proof. Gadson, 28, from Philadelphia, has already been on Broadway, in the 2013 musical After Midnight . He was nominated for an Astaire Award for outstanding male dancer in a Broadway show. He was in commercials for the NFL. Nor is this his first stint on reality TV. Gadson, who grew up in Mount Airy, attended Overbrook High School, and graduated from Martin Luther King High School, made it to "the green mile," the final audition phase, on Season 8 of SYTYCD . And he and his Philly crew, Phresh Select, danced on the second season of America's Best Dance Crew in 2008, finishing seventh.
August 3, 2015 |
MORE THAN 500 swing dancers and swing wannabes are expected today at the 19th-century Glen Foerd mansion in Torresdale for "Jazz Age on the Delaware" - a riverside festival of jitterbugging, Charleston lessons and picnics to live '20s, '30s and '40s tunes. The $45 admission benefits Philadelphia's last Gilded Age mansion and its 18-acre estate, open daily, free to the public, dawn to dusk, for nature walks, picnics and communing with "Little Ugly," the ancient dog statue overlooking the river.
July 8, 2015 |
It's a privilege to observe a dance rehearsal. After a while, you're not noticed. You become like that fly on the wall - the wall of a studio at the University of the Arts, where BalletX is rehearsing for its summer run, opening Wednesday, at the Wilma Theater. In one corner, dancers try on shoes, speaking softly so as not to disturb the duet across the room, under the choreographer's eye. A tall, lanky dancer, Richard Villaverde, has just banged his nose into the barre while doing pull-ups.
July 2, 2015 |
Dance Misty for me Misty Copeland has finally broken through the glass-toe shoe. Named principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre yesterday, she became the first African-American ballerina to achieve that status in the company's 75-year history. The theatre announced the promotion five days after Copeland made her New York debut in the role of Odette/Odile in "Swan Lake. " The emotional performance - finally a real black swan - ended with trailblazing black ballerinas of earlier generations greeting Copeland on stage.
July 1, 2015 |
Every immigrant's story begins with a journey. Some escape from harsh regimes; some leave for education or employment opportunities; others simply seek the promise of a new life in a new land. Silvana Cardell's Supper, People on the Move pays homage to these stories in a harrowing, captivating dance-theater piece. Filled with symbolism and metaphor, it forcefully conveys the emotional power of the psychological and physical perils that can plague an immigrant's passage. Supper , performed through last weekend at Crane Arts' Icebox space, opens on six performers seated at set of long folding tables, their hands and arms linked, then broken apart in waves, a series of slow gestures that embody the longing of farewell.
July 1, 2015 |
Though most outdoor performances would benefit from being indoors, the new choral/dance work Turbine unquestionably belonged where it was Sunday evening, at the Fairmount Water Works overlooking the Schuylkill - even though Saturday's downpour had cost it one of two planned performances. Early on, one puzzled over the amorphousness of this site-specific collaboration by choreographer Leah Stein, composer Byron au Yong, and the Mendelssohn Club choir. It seemed to be poetic murmuring, with short congenial melodies suggesting a lamentation recalled from a distant past.
June 14, 2015 |
From the opening curtain to the final darkening of the lights, exuberant reactions - both subjectively visceral and objectively profound - rippled through the Merriam Theater at the Pennsylvania Ballet's season closer Thursday night. Choreographer William Forsythe has returned to the States after decades helming Ballet Frankfurt and then his own company in Dresden. The Philadelphia premiere of his 1991 The Second Detail is his third work from the Pennsylvania Ballet. These decades-old, neoclassical ballets will appeal to lovers of Balanchine, whom Forsythe most admired, and, to my eye, advanced the Balanchine aesthetic.
June 8, 2015 |
Angel Corella's first year as artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet has been one of many changes. The entire artistic staff was replaced, new dancers and guest artists were hired, and, just Monday, Alexander Peters was promoted to principal dancer. But what hardly changed was the lineup of ballets audiences saw all season. "I was actually very pleased with the whole season," Corella said. "I know I could have changed a lot of the ballets that Roy [Kaiser, his predecessor] picked, but I thought it was actually quite interesting.