March 24, 2014 |
BOUNDARIES between classical ballet and modern dance continue to grow more indistinct, with choreographers creating from every available palette - limited only by their imagination and the formidable skill of their dancers. These days, "I've never seen that before!" is a common comment at intermission. Our local companies and out-of-towners passing through the Annenberg Center cover the full spectrum this season. BodyTraffic, April 3-5. This Los Angeles-based group, which has been called "the company of the future" for its innovative commissions, makes its Philly debut with a new work by Kyle Abraham, Richard Siegal's "o2Joy" and Barak Marshall's "and at midnight the green bride floated through the village square.
September 1, 2013 |
Modern dance and alternative performance artists are igniting the city with a fresh season of work, in theaters, lofts and basement gardens. Nichole Canuso Dance Company's "The Garden," playing throughout November, stands out as a participatory experience. Audience members, four at a time, will be guided through a labyrinth, illuminating the beauty of being alone in one's body. In October, Sean Dorsey's "The Secret History of Love" appears at the Painted Bride Art Center. Named a top choreographer to watch by Dance Magazine , Dorsey explores social and gender themes.
January 26, 2013
Spring 2013 promises to be a great one for dance and dance lovers. On the local scene, Pennsylvania Ballet reopened its school in the fall and moved into new Center City studios this month. The company, which marks its 50th birthday next season, dances four packed programs this spring, with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Forsythe & Kylian, and, of course, Balanchine. Among the visiting companies, I am particularly eager to see Dance Theatre of Harlem, which began performing again this season after an eight-year hiatus.
May 11, 2012 |
Many in Philadelphia's dance community were stunned in November when former Martha Graham principal dancer Jeanne Ruddy announced plans to disband her modern dance company. But Janet Pilla, a dancer with the company since 2001 and one of its two associate artistic directors, was less taken aback. She'd been through this before — three times, in fact. "The truth is I'm never surprised about things like that," she said, "because I've danced with a lot of dance companies.
April 23, 2012 |
Philadanco, by its very name — the Philadelphia Dance Company — embraces its hometown. And if ever there was a dance company to love back, it's this one. The dancers are sublime, the works accessible, and some of the best American choreographers regularly make new pieces for Danco to premiere for Philadelphia audiences. When the company tours the world — it was most recently in Macedonia — it's as an art ambassador from the City of Brotherly Love. The troupe opened Friday night at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater with a program called "The Philadelphia Connection.
March 24, 2012 |
Because of passport problems and a missed flight, the members of DanceBrazil didn't get to Philadelphia until 4 a.m. Thursday. But you would never have guessed it from the explosive, high-energy performance they gave that same night at the Annenberg Center. The much-traveled troupe celebrated its 35th anniversary by presenting a pair of short pieces choreographed by their founder and artistic director, Jelon Vieira. Like him, the dozen dancers come from Brazil - mainly Bahia, the center of Afro-Brazilian culture.
February 27, 2012 |
This was not just another Asian-fusion dance concert. In recent years there has been a vogue for combining Indian classical dance with Western techniques - Bharatanatyam and ballet, Kuchipudi and modern dance, Kathak and tap - with varying degrees of success. In her one-woman show, Friday and Saturday at the Painted Bride, Sheetal Gandhi used Indian heel-stamps and turns, alongside Western-style isolations and floor work, to create an eloquent, inventive, virtuosic dance-theater piece that kept the opening-night audience transfixed.
February 12, 2012 |
In her 80 years, Joan Myers Brown has been an artist, entrepreneur, and visionary, who with steely grace founded first, in 1960, a dance school for African American children and then, in 1970, Philadanco, where young dancers of color could find a performance home. It is now one of America's most important companies, and one of Philadelphia's most renowned touring exports. The challenge of relating Brown's life and accomplishments, of capturing her vitality, glamour and humanity, required someone her equal in beauty and wisdom.
February 10, 2012
WHEN SHE was 7, Lindsay Browning was nervous and excited waiting for her father to come to her school. When he arrived, he was dressed as Abraham Lincoln to teach her class about the former president's life. Today, the Philly-based dancer has transformed that childhood experience into a contemporary dance titled "Lincoln Luck. " Browning was inspired by imagining herself as Lincoln's "daughter of the future," basing her image both on Lincoln's personal history and on her father's portrayal of him. The performance explores themes such as luck and fate, and how they relate to Lincoln's life.
November 22, 2011 |
After 12 years of creating dance, commissioning work from world-class choreographers, and opening a theater and studio in a converted mechanic's shop, former Martha Graham principal dancer Jeanne Ruddy announced Monday that she was folding her Philadelphia modern dance company. "I came to the decision that it was time for me to move on, and that I had done what it was that I had set out to do," Ruddy, 58, said in her office at the Performance Garage on Brandywine Street. She paused frequently to get her emotions in check, and drew her long, dark-blond hair up in a clip several times, before pulling it down again moments later.