January 17, 2016 |
How to remain objective when writing about a company you love, with a choreographer you adore, and a dancer you've admired since you first saw him? If you've got a pulse, it's not easy. Especially if the company is Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, which opened NextMove's 2016 spring season Wednesday night at the Prince Theater. BJM performed here in 2004 and 2012, and artistic director Louis Robitaille continues to fill his roster with impeccable dancers. They sizzled to Rodrigo Pederneiras' "Rouge," featuring the stellar company with Mark Francis Caserta, dancing to his hometown audience with a luxuriantly sensual vengeance.
January 7, 2016 |
It was a cultural clash unseen even in a city long defined by the confrontational fanaticism of its sports fans: a grande bataille between a trash-talking Eagles fan and an elegant defender of the ballet. And in yet another sign that Philadelphia may be a city in transformation, a city rightly celebrated for much more than sports, a cracked bell, and steak on a roll, the ballet guy owned the Eagles guy. Big time. The emotions of the cultural imbroglio have settled, and with no permanent ill will.
December 16, 2015 |
Full disclosure: This was my first time seeing X-Mas Philes , Philadanco's annual holiday celebration, presented Friday through Sunday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. But there they were: Danco's gorgeous, impeccably trained dancers, plus talented youngsters from the troupe's Apprentice Company and its Youth Ensemble. All were in appropriately high spirits, despite the unseasonably warm weather. X-Mas Philes premiered in 2000, but, as the company's founder and executive/artistic director, Joan Myers Brown, noted during her introductory remarks, the busy choreographer Daniel Ezralow just expanded it into a full-evening work.
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.
October 28, 2015 |
Fifty years after Twyla Tharp created her first dance, the four-minute Tank Dive , she is among American's most successful female choreographers, and perhaps the one whose work is most often performed. "It's obvious there's an inequity there," Tharp, 74, said by phone from the West Coast leg of her 10-week 50th anniversary tour, which comes this weekend to the Annenberg Center. She would not comment beyond her own experience but said her success came "basically because men in the world of ballet have been big supporters, starting with Bob Joffrey.
October 25, 2015 |
Pennsylvania Ballet opened its season, the first entirely programed by Angel Corella, Thursday night at the Academy of Music, looking like a very different troupe from a year ago. The company added a new principal dancer, three new soloists, and several new dancers to the corps de ballet. The behind-the-scenes staff is mostly new. The evening included two company premieres, both quite modern - Wayne McGregor's Chroma and Christopher Wheeldon's DVG: Danse a Grande Vitesse . Most different and less tangible is the feel of the company, a lushness, a group confidence.
October 23, 2015 |
BIG DEAL EVENTS Cheesesteak Festival Here at last. Sixty vendors serve bite-size samples. Steve's Steak's reclaims world's longest steak cred. Eagles Pep Band joins cover masters Blackthorne and Go Go Gadget. Larry Holmes will be there, too. Lot K, Lincoln Financial Field, One Lincoln Financial Way, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow. $20 "witout," admission only; $40 "wit" admission, 10 cheesesteak vouchers and a T-shirt; 10 vouchers for $20; $10 kids 6-12, free under 6, cheesesteakfest.com . Head of the Schuylkill Most inclusive of the river's regattas expects 8,000 scullers - novices and masters, recreational and adaptive, world's best and region's finest - along with 50K-plus onlookers for two days of 2.5-mile racing.
October 21, 2015 |
Is the Pennsylvania Ballet developing a Latin flavor? Since last year, fans of this 50-year-old institution have wondered what form the company would take under its new artistic director, Angel Corella. It's still early days, but the influence of Spain and of other Spanish-speaking nations is definitely on the rise. Meanwhile, the superstar dancer-turned-administrator-and-teacher already has fulfilled several of his promises. Corella has enlarged the company to 37 dancers, plus four apprentices.
October 11, 2015 |
Performing the dances of Trisha Brown is "a little bit like strapping yourself in on the roller coaster and going for a ride. " So says Philadelphia dancer, choreographer, writer, and editor Lisa Kraus about this icon of American postmodern dance. Kraus should know; she was a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 1977 to 1982 and for the last 30 years has been restaging Brown's works for other troupes. Now, Kraus has curated an ambitious season-long project called "Trisha Brown: In the New Body.