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.
March 2, 2015 |
Cars still were barred from Main Street an hour after the first-ever Mummers Parade in Manayunk concluded. The crowd inside Pitcher's Pub swelled at noon Saturday, and the Pennsport String Band had an idea to engage the revelers. One strut. Outside. Three contestants. Winner collects $100. "Everyone points at me," said Kate O'Reilly, a Mummer's daughter and Manayunk resident. "I say: 'Done. It's in the bag. I dare you.' The rest is history. " There was something different about this intimate Mummers gathering.
December 27, 2014 |
Doug Hoffman had wondered what it would be like to be part of the Mummers Parade. On New Year's Day, he watched the live coverage of Mummers strutting up Broad Street, and marveled at the pageantry - the joyous music and choreography, comic performances, the elaborate suits with their glitter and sequins. Hoffman never thought he'd actually have a chance to actually join in. But as a resident of the Bancroft Lakeside Campus in Mullica Hill, where he's in a program for autistic adults, he met a retired member of the Golden Sunrise Fancy Club and posed a question: "Can you make me a Mummer?"
December 19, 2014 |
Broad Street's sequined strutters will be flapping their feathers toward Main Street come February. Just days before their annual New Year's Day parade along a shortened route in central Philadelphia, the Mummers announced Wednesday that they would hold yet another parade a few weeks later - through Manayunk, in a Mardi Gras celebration they hope to turn into an annual affair that can double as a fund-raiser. It will be the first time the Mummers will mount a parade beyond the New Year's spectacle that is to many Philadelphians what the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is to New Yorkers.
August 11, 2014
ISSUE | TEACHING Urban classrooms can be places of joy Urban teachers do have resources for success: quality induction programs, mentoring, workshops, professional development on a large number of topics, best-practices sessions, online courses, and advice from experts such as administrators, union leaders, school police, and more ("Sink-or-swim model for teachers needs reform," July 31). In my 17 years in the School District, I experienced many joys working in five different schools; four of them, unquestionably, with difficult environments.
April 4, 2014 |
* IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE: WOMEN OF SOUL. 9 p.m. Monday, WHYY12. WASHINGTON, D.C. - On a blustery March morning, the heat was turned way up inside the White House as first lady Michelle Obama welcomed more than 120 students (including 20 from Olney Charter High) to celebrate "Women of Soul. " First came an interactive student workshop in the State Dining Room - "I'm Every Woman: The History of Women in Soul. " That evening, some major figures in that history strutted their soulful stuff at a concert that was filmed to air Monday night.
March 6, 2014 |
In a Philly heartbeat, Cory Wade Hindorff would strike a runway pose in a miniskirt. And you might even find him walking confidently along Old City's cobblestone streets in six-inch heels. But the 23-year-old, third-place winner on fall's America's Next Top Model , wouldn't call himself a woman trapped in a man's body. Nor would Hindorff, who is gay, want anyone to mistake him for a member of the fairer sex, despite how phenomenal he looks in size 2 Urban Outfitters skinny jeans.
March 3, 2014 |
Anyone who's been to Philadelphia's Mummer's Parade would feel at home watching the Mardi Gras parades in Binche, a French-speaking town of 10,000 in southern Belgium. The Two Street crowd would recognize the men, teens, and children in colorful costumes; the ostrich plumes sprouting from heads; the brass, woodwind, and drum bands playing a nonstop stream of traditional, upbeat tunes that compel shuffles, shimmies, and struts. They'd recognize the lively crowd, fueled by high spirits and beer, lining the parade route, and, most Mummerly of all, the century-plus history that links today's paraders with generations past.
January 3, 2014 |
Any tradition that has lasted 114 years must evolve to survive. And so, the annual Mummers Parade has been put through its Darwinian paces. Routes have been tweaked. Hours curtailed. Rules imposed. Crowds expanded and contracted. Drag queens, who strutted until the 1970s returned to the frilled fold in 2013 - and o 'dem golden kinky boots. But the 2014 rendition, which rolled and strutted, boogied and high-stepped, clowned and twirled up Broad Street Wednesday in a well-hydrated flurry of confetti, sequins, feathers and face paint, was 100 percent consistent with its century-old roots in the most essential Philadelphian ways.