July 4, 2016
Michel Rocard, 85, who served as prime minister of France under President Francois Mitterrand and was a leader of the nation's Socialist Party, has died, the president's office said Saturday. A cause of death was not immediately given. Mr. Rocard suffered a stroke in 2012 and was treated for a blood clot in 2007, French media reported at the time. Mr. Rocard, who was prime minister from 1988 to 1991, also was minister of territorial development from 1981 to 1983 and minister of agriculture from 1983 to 1985.
April 17, 2016 |
After graduating from high school last year, Tom Bente packed his belongings into a car, said his goodbyes to Chaska, Minn. (pop. 23,000), and set off across I-80 to chase the only dream he'd ever had. The dream is exactly what he's doing now: getting drop-kicked and clotheslined and catapulted around a wrestling ring in the middle of a repurposed garage in Northeast Philadelphia. "This," says the pride of Chaska, sweaty and beaming and blue-eyed, "is the only thing I have ever loved.
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 24, 2016 |
Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, a seven-year-old Philadelphia company, staged the world premiere of Ephemeral over the weekend at Christ Church Neighborhood House. Inspired by "life cycles, seasons, and our relationship to time," Gibson said she listened to Vivaldi's Four Seasons frequently while creating this fresh, postmodern ballet. The 70-minute series of discrete classical ballet poses driven by fluid changes in arm and foot positions often ended in croisé derriere: one foot pointed behind, the other turned to the side in front; one arm curved above the head, the other trailing horizontally to the side.
February 22, 2016 |
T he Jungle Book , with a score by composer John B Hedges and choreography by Colby Damon, receives its premiere Sunday by Curtis Institute of Music instrumentalists and dancers from Pennsylvania Ballet II. The work, based on the Rudyard Kipling stories, is meant to capture the attention of young listeners and their families. Hedges, 41, born in Wilmington and a Penn and Curtis graduate, talks about his new work. For a project like this that involves dancers, music, and a narrator, who made the first move?
January 22, 2016 |
At an April 8 grand opening, a ball of fire will rise from Penn's Landing. A massive South Broad Street fair will follow on April 23, featuring art, music, performance, and a trick or two. Bookended by these attractions, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will return to the city for its third run, a bit smaller this go-round, more concentrated, but with dozens of events and a decidedly international flavor. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, organizer of the festival, will release details of many events Thursday.
January 22, 2016 |
Born in Cambodia, raised in two refugee camps after her family escaped Pol Pot's dictatorship, Leendavy Koung is a master of Asian arts and culture in Philadelphia. In November, she sat for a videotaped interview as part of Article 13 , a fiery French-Mexican multimedia production about migration, scheduled for its U.S. premiere in Philadelphia in April. Despite the strain of refugee life, Koung, 43, said she learned from her parents to appreciate and promote Khmer classical music and folk dance.
December 17, 2015 |
The long-term creative destination of any given composer is more difficult to predict than weather, from Wagner's lofty refinement achieved in Parsifal to Leonard Bernstein's angry repudiation of suburbia in A Quiet Place . Having pioneered electronic music and collaborated with the stylish and abstract choreographer Alwin Nikolais, the 76-year-old Andrew Rudin has progressed to a distinctive place of mystery in his fine piano trio Circadia ...
December 5, 2015 |
What composer is brave enough to write a new piece to be performed alongside Bach? Turns out that seven agreed to put their voices up against the master's. With financial support from the increasingly important Presser Foundation, Choral Arts Philadelphia with Philadelphia Bach Collegium, organist Bernard Kunkel, and conductor Matthew Glandorf presented the new works Wednesday night at St. Clement's Church, and a varied bunch they were. Bach's Cantata BWV 61 was preceded by the premieres, all fairly brief and based on the Magnificat antiphons used at vespers on the last seven days of Advent.
November 17, 2015 |
Dawn, new beginnings, and acts of creation were the theme at the Philadelphia Orchestra's Friday Kimmel Center concert, but the Paris terrorist attacks earlier that day inevitably cast a shadow. Orchestra president Allison Vulgamore made an understated preconcert dedication to the victims. Less fortunately, mid-performance outbursts - the sort usually associated with medical emergencies - came from the composer of the concert's main piece, Hannibal Lokumbe. He shouted encouragement to the orchestra from the first tier during the premiere of his One Land, One River, One People . Dramatized in the allegorical fashion of William Blake, Lokumbe's creation story promised to sit easily beside Sibelius' Finlandia and Copland's Appalachian Spring (both in beautifully prepared performances led by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin)