April 20, 2016 |
' Global Artistry ," Philadanco's contribution to this year's Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, consisted of four short works, all beautifully presented and each created by a choreographer from a different country. An enthusiastic crowd filled the Perelman Theater on Friday night as 'Danco began its three-day run. The performance, to a rhythmically and melodically complex recording by Zap Mama, "Labess," from Jamaican choreographer David Brown, was thrilling. Led by tiny and impossibly flexible Rosita Adamo, the seven dancers were equally comfortable with Brown's homages to Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham and his daring, inventive movements - like the duet danced by Adamo and the tall, prodigiously talented Adryan Moorefield.
April 13, 2016 |
The Brooklyn company Gallim Dance, nearly a decade old, made its Philadelphia debut Sunday evening at the Kimmel Center's PIFA festival at Verizon Hall. Titled Attack Point , the world premiere, choreographed by Gallim founding director Andrea Miller, took place in collaboration with organists from the Curtis Institute of Music and Choral Arts Philadelphia. The concept of the collaboration is "a night of dance listening and organ watching. " So, with the grand Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ looming relâche above us, a smaller organ reigned on stage, where we could watch the organist's feet at the pedals for the nondance works.
February 7, 2016
Joan Myers Brown, 84 Founder of Philadanco Having been raised in the period of segregation, I went to an all-Black school up until seventh grade, where we were taught "Black History" as a part of our studies; however, there was never a discussion about the history of blacks in the arts. Being introduced to dance in the second grade by the all-white 4H Club members, I never thought there was a "history" I should know about. And when I was invited to join the ballet club in high school, all I learned was white ballet dance history.
February 1, 2016
Sofiya Ballin is an Inquirer staff writer I learned the most about black history in whispered tones while my mother braided my hair, after school when my father listened to talk radio, as my grandmother grated coconut, and at the dinner table set with shades of brown and opinion. In those moments I learned of the rise and destruction of Black Wall Street, the inhumanity of the Tuskegee Experiment, the tales of Angola's Queen Nzinga, the triumph of Queen Nanny of the Jamaican Maroons, and the Haitian revolution.
January 31, 2016 |
I LEARNED THE most about black history in whispered tones while my mother braided my hair, after school when my father listened to talk radio, as my grandmother grated coconut, and at the dinner table set with shades of brown and opinion. In those moments I learned of the rise and destruction of Black Wall Street, the inhumanity of the Tuskegee Experiment, the tales of Angola's Queen Nzinga, the triumph of Queen Nanny of the Jamaican Maroons, and the Haitian revolution. I learned that black history crossed continents and spanned languages, creating dialects that sang.
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 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.
July 22, 2015 |
A wide range of styles typifies the annual Come Together Festival, opening Wednesday at Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The brainchild of Roni Koresh and brother Alon, the festival began in 2013 and has expanded rapidly, jumping from 26 companies presented last year to 33 this year. That includes a few out-of-towners: 10 Hairy Legs (Highland Park, N.J.), Ballet Inc. (New York), and Donald Byrd's Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater. Byrd has achieved international visibility for his creation of the Harlem Nutcracker and his choreography for the Broadway smash The Color Purple . In between rehearsals and coffees in the cafés surrounding his Rittenhouse Street studio, Roni Koresh stopped to chat about the festival.
May 27, 2015 |
Having four highly regarded dance companies within a few blocks on the Avenue of the Arts makes Philadelphia unique in all of America. Some of that Broad Street dazzle will be on display at Longwood Gardens on Saturday night when Wilma Theater-based BalletX and the Kimmel Center's Philadanco share a bill under the stars. Since Tom Warner's move four years ago from the Kimmel, where he was a visionary presenter, to director of performing arts at Longwood Gardens, he's hosted Noche Flamenca, Kulu Mele, Pasion y Arte, and Savion Glover - all known for innovations in their genres.
April 22, 2015 |
In his play Joe Turner's Come and Gone , August Wilson uses song as a metaphor for an individual's highest essence, the true self. Those who have forgotten their songs are forever searching for them. Song as soul or self inspired A Forgotten Moon-Song , the lovely and lyrical world-premiere commission that three-time Bessie Award-winner Dianne McIntyre set on Philadanco to open the company's spring run at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater on Friday night. Joan Myers Brown, founder and director of 45-year-old Philadanco, designed a program, "Having Our Say . . .," of female choreographers whose work spans four generations.