September 8, 2014 |
At the gala opening of the spectacular new FringeArts building on Columbus Boulevard on Friday night, the air was charged with so much electricity I was glad the place was no longer in use as a pumping station. Though there was no danger of electrocution, the crowd, there to see the Pennsylvania Ballet in new works, could have crushed you. What I Learned About Outer Space , a co-creation of Pennsylvania Ballet, Curtis Institute of Music, and FringeArts, turned out, overall, to have the contrived feeling these sorts of commissioned collaborations often do - not quite shotgun wedding, but more "Let's make this relationship work.
August 20, 2014 |
On paper, there ain't much to Ain't Misbehavin' but the music. Unlike many songbook-driven shows or jukebox musicals, Richard Maltby Jr. and Murray Horwitz's revue of the songs of Fats Waller lacks a plot, biographical outline or a historically grounded narrative. These deficiencies show in Bucks County Playhouse's muddled though mostly well-sung production, directed by Hunter Foster. It starts with the set: Wilson Chin and David L. Arsenault's built-out barroom with a staircase leading up to a raised balcony, which fails to create a unified environment.
August 11, 2014 |
Having left thriving artistic careers in Cuba, ballet dancers John White and Margarita de Saá landed in a rundown room above a Narberth movie theater. The space, in need of renovation, represented a radical change from the days when the couple danced on the world's biggest stages as part of the National Ballet of Cuba. It was in 1964 that White and de Saá gave up career, family, and, in de Saá's case, country, to flee the Fidel Castro regime. They eventually chose the tiny Montgomery County borough, 2,000 miles from Havana, as the place to start over, opening their ballet school in 1974.
July 28, 2014 |
Philadelphia in the Rockies? "It'll be so beautiful there!" Amy Aldridge says, thinking of dancing with a tall, dark stranger among the pines. Aldridge and nearly every other Philadelphia professional ballet dancer will be dancing outdoors in Colorado this week at the Vail International Dance Festival. The Pennsylvania Ballet and BalletX were invited to perform in one of the season's most prestigious summer dance festivals, which opens Sunday night. "It's sort of our Philadelphia story," says Damian Woetzel, artistic director of the festival and a retired star from the New York City Ballet.
July 25, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Ballet, once a major national dance company, turned 50 this year and was in need of a makeover. It got an immediate jolt Tuesday when it named Angel Corella its new artistic director, effective in September. Corella, 38, a former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, is an international star who has performed with every major company around the globe. He's modeled for Rolex watches and appeared in ads for champagne with Gwyneth Paltrow. Most recently, he ran his own company, Corella Ballet Castilla y León, which became the Barcelona Ballet but which has since folded.
July 14, 2014 |
Gwen Resch has two families. Yes, the 14-year-old from Linwood, N.J., has a mother, father, and older brother. But she also has her "dance family," a far-reaching network of friends from across the region who share her passion for Irish dancing. "When you go to dance, that's a part of the experience," Resch said of constantly reconnecting with her dancing friends. "My favorite part. " While Resch sees most of her local dance mates three or four times a week, when they practice at the Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dance, she was going to be part of a wider ensemble Saturday.
July 13, 2014 |
Gwen Resch has two families. Yes, the 14-year-old from Linwood, N.J., has a mother, father, and older brother. But she also has her "dance family," a far-reaching network of friends from across the region who share her passion for Irish dancing. "When you go to dance, that's a part of the experience," Resch said of constantly reconnecting with her dancing friends. "My favorite part. " While Resch sees most of her local dance mates three or four times a week, when they practice at the Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dance, she will be part of a wider ensemble Saturday.
July 13, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - They are still dancing in Atlantic City. In a summer of bad news along casino row, Phyllis Papa, founder, choreographer, and director of the 32-year-old Atlantic City Ballet, has found her place on the Boardwalk for the first time. Long headquartered outside of the city, the company has settled into its new home at Boardwalk Hall, with all the dancers living close by in two big houses. The company will dance regularly at the Claridge, on the Boardwalk at Kennedy Plaza, and in a series of "Up Close and Personal" performances inside its new ballet studio in Room 311 at Boardwalk Hall.
July 12, 2014 |
The fun thing about BalletX is that you never know what you are going to see. The roster of dancers changes often. The company specializes in new choreography from codirectors Matthew Neenan, Christine Cox, or whoever they feel like working with. The shows are usually good. Then, there's Sunset, o639 Hours , a feast of entertainment, emotion, and moments of genius. Sunset , which opened Wednesday night at the Wilma Theater, was created by Neenan and composer-musician Rosie Langabeer, a Kiwi who divides her time between Philadelphia and New Zealand.
July 11, 2014 |
Last winter, a caravan of canoeists headed up the Schuylkill, paddling against the current and the chill to discuss plans for Invisible River , an arts event planned for this weekend. "Everyone was getting really excited, saying how we should put lights on the bridge, or imagining dancers in the shallows of the water and a flotilla of boats, with a music barge floating along. We were all letting our imaginations run wild," recalled choreographer Olivia Jorgensen, who was visited by a vision of dancers performing summer-solstice rituals on the banks.