November 14, 2009 |
It's Philadanco's 40th birthday, but the modern dance company looks as fresh and strong as ever. The troupe opened its season at the Kimmel Center Thursday night with a program that includes a world premiere, a cameo appearance, and a celebration of women's derrieres. Companies and choreographers all over the world have tackled Bolero, with varying degrees of success. Indeed, Philadanco's is the second new version in Philadelphia in just four months (BalletX premiered one in July)
May 5, 2009 |
Philadelphia hosts a redoubtable legion of dance-makers. Over the weekend, amid a swirl of other dance activity, Eleone Dance Theatre was onstage at North Broad Street's Freedom Theater, while across town the Painted Bride hosted Tania Isaac, Gabri Christa, and Marianela Boan. At 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Eleone held forth in the beautifully refurbished John E. Allen Jr. Theater (there's free, attended parking next door). With the early curtain, you could take in Eleone and still make it down to South Broad Street to catch one of the other big dance concerts.
May 2, 2009 |
"All new" sounds exciting, but it can also mean "not yet broken in. " Philadanco presented three world premieres and a company premiere in a program called "New Faces" Thursday night at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, and while all the pieces were promising, they were still rough around the edges. Philadanco turns 40 in 2010, and the plan leading up to the anniversary was to revisit its history last fall and present new choreography now. The program of older work was stunning; the dances felt custom-fit for the dancers.
April 23, 2009 |
On a frigid February evening there's a sizzle in the air at Philadanco's West Philadelphia studios. Hope Boykin has kindled the dancers' fire. A drop-dead-dazzling mover who performed with Danco from 1994 to 2000, Boykin has been a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for nine seasons. She is using a brief furlough from the Ailey 50th Anniversary Tour to rehearse Be Ye Not, the new work she choreographed for Danco, a highlight of the company's Kimmel Center program next week.
October 18, 2008 |
I am always surprised to see open seats when Philadanco performs at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. The company is one of the brightest jewels on the city's arts scene, internationally known, and in residence here only about eight days a year. If you miss a season, you might never see the ballets on that program. With that in mind, executive artistic director Joan Myers Brown decided to bring a program of audience favorites this fall to the Kimmel Center, where Philadanco is resident dance company.
July 6, 2008 |
Jeri Packman, 88, a dance educator who taught creative movement to Philadelphia schoolchildren and teachers for more than 60 years and was a leader in Philadanco and the Philadelphia Dance Alliance, died of heart failure Tuesday at her home in Center City. Mrs. Packman, born Gertrude Coplin, celebrated her 88th birthday with family members Tuesday night. After they left, she died. "My mother had a flair for the dramatic," daughter Hedra Packman said. "She was strong-willed and left this world when she was ready.
May 10, 2008 |
As Philadanco approaches its 40th season in 2010, it continues to travel the world annually, playing to appreciative crowds from Asia to Europe. In mid-March, the company returned from a four-week tour of 22 cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Hungary to begin rehearsing for its current spring run at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, called "In the Black Tradition. " In Philadanco's West Philly studios earlier this week, founder and artistic director Joan Myers Brown talked about the program, and the spring tour.
December 15, 2007 |
It's the holiday season, and Philadanco has given itself, and audience members, some gifts. The company added two impressive world premieres to its repertoire, as well as two new vignettes to its witty Xmas Philes. All debuted Thursday, when Philadanco opened its annual winter concert series at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. Elisa Monte plays homage to 20th-century German modernist painter and color theorist Josef Albers in "Light Lies Beyond," a piece for eight dancers in brightly hued costumes on a white floor.
May 31, 2007 |
Can you feel Broad Street vibrating? DanceBoom!, the Wilma Theater's annual celebration of the city's rich and diverse contemporary dance scene, opens tonight. "This is a delicious time for a dance lover to be in Philadelphia," says Lois Welk, artistic adviser to DanceBoom! curator Terry Fox - and it's hard to argue with that. Running through June 7, this sixth edition of the popular festival features a dozen very different companies: seven performing on the Wilma's main stage and five presenting free "streetside" shows - literally on Broad Street, right outside the theater.
November 18, 2006 |
It really was a dark and stormy night - complete with tornado warnings - when Philadanco opened its fall season at the Kimmel Center on Wednesday. Perhaps because of the weather, the Perelman Theater was less than two-thirds full. But the enthusiastic crowd witnessed a superbly performed sampler of works from Danco's ever-expanding repertory. To help celebrate the Kimmel's fifth anniversary, Philadanco founder and executive artistic director Joan Myers Brown assembled a typically varied selection - one world premiere, the restaging of a classic modern dance, and two recent pieces - by a quartet of choreographers.