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Philadanco

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NEWS
December 19, 1986 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
One of the dances that Philadanco performed yesterday for schoolchildren at WHYY's Forum Theater is called Workout. The title could refer to the entire program. By only a long stretch of the word could one say that Philadanco's repertory is choreographed. The dances are more like gussied-up exercises that allow the dancers space and time in which to flex their bodies. There is no structure and no content. As always, the Philadanco company, as a group and as individuals, carried the day. Each member knows how to charm the audience without pressing it. Technically, the group looks lithe and polished.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 1989 | By Janet Anderson, Special to the Daily News
Celebrate! It's the Philadelphia Dance Company's (a.k.a. Philadanco's) 20th anniversary. At last night's spring season opening at Annenberg Center, the Danco dancers were in the party mood, performing with the sparkle of a newly opened bottle of champagne. Joan Myers Brown, who founded Philadanco and serves as its artistic director, originally wanted to find a way to provide dance training - and a professional company - open to black dancers. That Philadanco exists 20 years later, much honored, is testimony to Brown's sheer grit and numerous personal skills.
NEWS
November 29, 1990 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
Philadanco's winter concert series at the Mandell Theater tomorrow and Saturday will be special for two reasons - one pleasing, one not. The happy one is the premiere of Such Sweet Morning Songs, a work in progress by the distinguished black choreographer Talley Beatty, whose career dates back to the era of the legendary Katherine Dunham. Philadanco's founder and director, Joan Myers Brown, quips that her dancers know they're privileged to be working with the 67-year-old Beatty because he tells them so. "If you want to know about me," Beatty tells them, "go read about it in the library.
NEWS
November 17, 1990
Philadanco's winter concert Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Drexel's Mandell Theater could be the troupe's last performance ever. Philadelphia's premier black dance company is broke. Like so many Philadelphia cultural organizations, it has lost the financial support it used to get from the city - a casualty of the fiscal crisis. And other sources have dried up. In short, Philadanco is out of cash, and unless founder-director Joan Myers Brown can come up with a miracle, this remarkable group - which has done so much for young black Philadelphians - will be history.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 1998 | By Miriam Seidel, FOR THE INQUIRER
Fluid, powerful movement and dazzling speed - these qualities ran through Philadanco's stylistically varied spring program, presented over the weekend at the Annenberg Center. The company featured two new works along with a revival from its early years, and a repertory work, Dreamtime. The troupe will take this program to New York's Joyce Theatre this month. Ronald K. Brown's Gate Keepers was billed as a preview, rather than a premiere: It's part of a larger work to be completed in two years.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2012 | By Ellen Dunkel, Inquirer Staff Writer
Counterprogramming was the name of the game Thursday night when Philadanco opened its three-day run at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. If audiences were disappointed that Xmas Philes , the company's popular Christmas ballet, wasn't on the bill this year, the program more than made up for it. The centerpiece of the performance was Matthew Rushing's Moan , honoring the vocals of Nina Simone, which had its world premiere in October when...
NEWS
October 15, 1988 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
It was ladies' night at last night's Philadanco concert at the Mandell Theater, and it was especially Danielle Gee's night. As the lead in Elisa Monte's Dreamtime and the solo dancer in Milton Myers' Lucia Ferre, Gee couldn't help but be the focal point. But she was also the one you couldn't take your eyes off in a unison dance for five, William Spears' Last Waltz. Gee has that extra ounce of energy and alertness, and it makes all the difference. You see her aliveness especially in her neck, which seems to be longer and tauter than anyone else's.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2004 | By Miriam Seidel FOR THE INQUIRER
Philadanco artistic director Joan Myers Brown made the company's spring offering a selection of audience favorites. The result, in case you were wondering, is a night packed with exhilarating, near-nonstop movement, danced with the precision and force the company is known for - no downtime here. Thursday night's program opened with two beloved "oldies" dating from the '70s: George Faison's Suite Otis and tasty excerpts from Talley Beatty's Pretty Is Skin Deep, Ugly to the Bone.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2000 | By Merilyn Jackson, FOR THE INQUIRER
Philadanco's Wednesday opening-night concert proved there are at least three reasons to go: the dancers, the dancers, and the dancers. The company wraps up its 30th-anniversary season at the Prince Music Theater through . On the Shoulders of Our Ancestors is billed as an evening-length work, but it is really a loose suite of four works held together by screened excerpts from a television documentary to run next year on PBS, Free to Dance....
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ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 2016 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
' 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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 13, 2016 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
January 31, 2016 | By SOFIYA BALLIN, 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. I learned that black history crossed continents and spanned languages, creating dialects that sang.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2015 | By Nancy G. Heller, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 2, 2015 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 22, 2015 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 2015 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2015 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
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.
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