June 18, 2016 |
Watching Riverdance is like seeing your favorite band. You know much of what to expect, but you may enjoy the spectacle even more for it. So it's easy to see why this show, which brought its 20th Anniversary World Tour to the Academy of Music Tuesday night, has endured. There's much for fans to look forward to year after year, yet just enough changes to keep it interesting. Changes for this anniversary tour include a new a cappella hard-shoe piece for the women and new costumes, lighting, and projections.
June 13, 2016 |
It will be a song-and-dance summer in our region, from the Lehigh Valley to the Shore, with dramatic gems studding the landscape. Below are some standout song-and-dancefests, summer Shakespeare - including four gentlemen of Verona (see below) - plus summer Neil Simon, summer Noël Coward, and more. Riverdance (June 14-19, Academy of Music) The 20th-anniversary world tour comes through Philadelphia, looking back at the show's history, and adding costumes, lighting, projections, and a brand-new number, "Anna Livia" (embodiment of the River Liffey flowing through Dublin)
March 2, 2016 |
Dangerous Games is billed as Michael Flatley's final tour as the Lord of the Dance. After 20 years of bringing Irish dance to mainstream audiences, Flatley appeared in only the final 10 minutes of Sunday night's show at the Wells Fargo Center. He was greeted like Elvis entering the building. Flatley danced just a few phrases, but the show, with his name in lights on the backdrop, would not have been complete without a sighting. Dangerous Games follows the format of Flatley's previous shows, which began in 1994 with Riverdance and continued with Lord of the Dance in 1996.
July 14, 2014 |
Gwen Resch has two families. Yes, the 14-year-old from Linwood, N.J., has a mother, father, and older brother. But she also has her "dance family," a far-reaching network of friends from across the region who share her passion for Irish dancing. "When you go to dance, that's a part of the experience," Resch said of constantly reconnecting with her dancing friends. "My favorite part. " While Resch sees most of her local dance mates three or four times a week, when they practice at the Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dance, she was going to be part of a wider ensemble Saturday.
July 13, 2014 |
Gwen Resch has two families. Yes, the 14-year-old from Linwood, N.J., has a mother, father, and older brother. But she also has her "dance family," a far-reaching network of friends from across the region who share her passion for Irish dancing. "When you go to dance, that's a part of the experience," Resch said of constantly reconnecting with her dancing friends. "My favorite part. " While Resch sees most of her local dance mates three or four times a week, when they practice at the Emerald Isle Academy of Irish Dance, she will be part of a wider ensemble Saturday.
April 30, 2014 |
Since 2006, Shen Yun ("the beauty of divine beings dancing") has been presenting programs designed to "revive 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture" through music and dance. On Friday, the 2014 edition of Shen Yun began a brief run at the Merriam Theater, where it charmed and astonished, but ultimately left this viewer feeling profoundly uncomfortable. Large-scale "folkloric" extravaganzas like Shen Yun have a venerable history - think Riverdance, or Philadelphia's Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
September 20, 2013 |
What on earth could the River Nile and Riverdance have in common? They are the sources for two vastly different dance works opening Thursday as part of the Fringe Festival's final weekend. While both flow from traditional dance cultures, their choreographers, Reggie Wilson and Colin Dunne, reroute their Africanist and Irish disciplines into contemporary dance idioms. New York's Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group opens at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre with the world premiere of his Moses(es)
September 6, 2013 |
THE 17th annual Fringe Festival (formerly Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe) kicked off yesterday with an expanded schedule as well as a new name. For the next 17 days, dozens of venues will be filled with drama, comedy, music, dance, circus arts and multimedia presentations that stretch the concept of "theater" well beyond its normal parameters. (Let's just say that "Grease" is not in the mix.) While the festival has made the transformation from, well, a fringe event to a key piece of Philly's cultural landscape, its whys and wherefores still may be unknown - or, at least, misunderstood - by many.
July 28, 2013 |
It takes a strong, confident artist to name an entire tour after her role as the wife of another outsize superstar. Such is the marriage of Beyoncé Knowles to (the newly unhyphenated) hip-hop enterprise and mogul Jay Z, also known as Shawn Carter. Though she came to Philadelphia with something named "The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour," make no mistake - the razzle-dazzle performance that sold out the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday was all Bey. (She'll return on Labor Day weekend as a headliner in the Budweiser Made in America festival.)
May 14, 2012 |
It has to be said: Much of Riverdance is profoundly dumb. This is not the fault of the performers — appealing, energetic, and superbly trained dancers, singers, and musicians who, on Friday night, inaugurated the local leg of their "farewell tour" at the Merriam Theater. Rather, it is because composer Bill Whelan, producer Moya Doherty, and director John McColgan have tried to tie together a group of unrelated numbers through an incoherent "theme" (something about sun worship and immigration)