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Archive for 2008

TOMORROW: bodies in your urban spaces

Posted September 4th, 2008

Willi Dorner’s bodies in urban spaces premieres tomorrow! Meet at LOVE Park and follow the dancers as they use fire escapes, newsstands, and alleyways to create a trail of colorful human sculpture. This show is free! Tickets are not required.

bodies in urban spaces
Friday at 12:30pm
Begins at John F. Kennedy Plaza/LOVE Park

Click here for additional showtimes.

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REACTION: Spencer goes to store

Posted September 4th, 2008

GRAND OPENING! For one week only, enjoy the best and affordable performance products at store.

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Wedged in the heart of the hustle and bustle of South Street, store offers you top of the line performance art products at prices high brow museums can’t beat! Smartly donned in wool suits, Michikazu Matsune and David Subal greet you at the door with a well-stocked menu of acts that meet all artistic tastes. One can choose from the “Specials of the Day,” “Special Delivery,” “Take Away” (most popular), “Pure Theater,” and “Cheap Copies” to name a few, and then the duo will perform the piece before the customers’ eyes. Prices range from $0.40 to $10.00, but admission is free for those who can enjoy watching the selections the others make.

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PHOTOS: Car is in the garage

Posted September 3rd, 2008

If you didn’t get tickets to see Car, you can look at these photos for free. Otherwise, hold your horses! The photos are awesome, but the show is worth waiting for. JJ Tiziou braved the wilds of West Philly Parking Garage #40 to take these beauties. Visit JJ’s site at www.jjtiziou.net.

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PRESS: City Paper likes Joe Hill

Posted September 3rd, 2008

And Sweet By-and-By. Click here to read Lori Hill’s (no relation–we think) take on this one-man show that takes you back to the time of union martyrs and labor activists on the California picket lines. It’s a lot faster than reading The Grapes of Wrath and there’s music too!

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INTERVIEW: Michaela Majoun talks with Leah Stein

Posted September 3rd, 2008

What exactly is urban echo? Find out in this interview with choreographer Leah Stein, whose latest work, Urban ECHO: Circle Told, will premiere this Saturday at the Rotunda in West Philly. Stein discusses this bold collaboration between her company, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, and composer Pauline Oliveros. Click here to listen.

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VIDEO: Tania Isaac’s stuporwoman

Posted September 3rd, 2008

You’ve seen her face all over town (and on the header for this blog), now you can get to know what she’s actually doing in the Festival. Watch this video preview by Woodshop Films and learn more about Tania Isaac’s stuporwoman, premiering tomorrow night at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.

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For more information and tickets to see stuporwoman, click here.

REACTION: This time, you are the performer.

Posted September 2nd, 2008

Etiquette by Rotozaza is the smallest stage I’ve encountered at this year’s festival; the entire piece takes place on a tabletop. I’ll admit I was reticent about the piece when I heard that my chosen partner and I would be acting aloud in a high traffic coffee shop. Nevertheless we arrived at Last Drop to perform the piece on a Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, the performance space is located in a far corner of the shop. I had to look twice to find it.

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TODAY: the grand opening of store!

Posted September 1st, 2008

This morning, Festival friends and staff gathered at 244 South Street (across from Hats in the Belfry) for the official grand opening of Matsune + Subal’s store. Champagne was served, in addition to M and S snacks–one M&M (Matsune) and one Skittle (Subal). Passersby were drawn in as Matsune and Subal performed various products, including “Cabbage,” “Just Love,” “Rita’s Happiness,” and many others. store will be open from 11am-2pm and 3pm-6pm all week long. Click below to see more photos of Matsune + Subal’s performance products.

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REACTION: Sebastienne Mundheim’s Sea of Birds

Posted September 1st, 2008

Upon entering the room, it’s clear Sea of Birds will be a magical piece. The seating is a good indicator of the sense of intimacy within the space: two lines of chairs, several rows of cushions cut from aerospace material, then a series of large beanbag pillows are arranged neatly across the floor. Of course those are taken quickly. As the crowd filters in and chooses to sit, perch, or sprawl, we all gaze up at the huge, spanning material that runs to the ceiling. It’s thin paper, like parchment or boat sails, that sways slightly as it reflects the cooling light projected onto it.

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REACTION: Welcome to Jo Strømgren’s The European Lesson

Posted September 1st, 2008

Welcome to The European Lesson. This theatrical lecture, delivered by an amateur anthropologist (Jeb Kreager), gives spectators an inside look at quotidian family life in Slovakia. He cites the World’s Fair exhibitions in which imitation American Indian villages were built and actors were hired to portray tribespeople, all for the sake of the viewers. “For shame,” he says. He explains that his lecture will feature real Slovaks, and that the most valuable anthropological research can be done by observing the subjects in their natural habitat, as they move through their quotidian routines. He acknowledges that he does not have a degree, but believes that one can learn more in the field than in the academe.

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PHOTOS: Sonic Dancing on Broad Street

Posted August 31st, 2008

Group Motion dancers helped us kick off the Festival with a reprise of Sonic Dances. The dancers started at Dilworth Plaza (west side of City Hall) and crowds followed as they dodged traffic and danced down the center of the Avenue of the Arts. They concluded their dance in front of the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, just in time for the official premiere of Karen Getz’ Disco Descending. Here are a few photos of the event by Festival Photographer Bill Hebert.

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PHOTO: IN FLUX at the Arts Bank

Posted August 31st, 2008

Choreographers Rebecca Lloyd-Jones, Erica Saben, Sarah Gladwin Camp, and Kathryn TeBordo presented their work in Mascher Space Coop’s IN FLUX at the Arts Bank this weekend. Here are a few photos by Festival Photographer Elizabeth Hershey.

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John Beauregard and Laura Neuman in Sarah Gladwin Camp’s Not on Tuesday.

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Erica Saben’s Inside.

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REACTION: the mysterious world of Wandering Alice

Posted August 31st, 2008

Since late spring, the cast, crew, and creative team for Nichole Canuso Dance Company’s Wandering Alice have been rehearsing at Christ Church Neighborhood House. Through a process that began over a year ago (a lucky few saw the work-in-progress presented at the 2007 Live Arts Festival), the group has transformed the building into what feels very much like another world, a place that outsiders (the audience) can visit and enjoy, but perhaps never be a part of.

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Every element—set pieces, props, costumes, the looks on the performers’ faces, and the words they speak—carries a dreamlike quality that makes you feel like there’s more to the scene than what meets the eye. You start to wonder what kinds of secrets might be buried in the hundreds of notes that fill the stairwell, the strings that connect audience members to dancers, or the tiny luminaire umbrellas that lead us through this mysterious little world.

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REACTION: Smell the sweat at Miguel Gutierrez’ Everyone

Posted August 30th, 2008

When you arrive at the Mandell Theater to see Miguel Gutierrez and his company, the Powerful People, perform Everyone, you don’t have to worry about finding a good seat. The house manager escorts you backstage. You’re under the heat of the lights, within a few steps of the performers. One by one they enter in jeans and t-shirts with a fixed, yet vacant gaze, to the beat of pre-recorded cymbal that seems endless. Their stare is startling, if not alarming, as the Powerful People seek your attention. Now, you are no longer a passive spectator, but rather a prop in Gutierrez’s artistic vision.

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Sirens singing, sirens blaring: Leah Stein’s Urban ECHO

Posted August 29th, 2008

Leah Stein’s latest Live Arts work, Urban ECHO: Circle Told, will feature eight of Stein’s dancers and 100 members of the historic Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. This enormous cast will move together through one of the city’s true architectural wonders, a former Christian Science church at 40th and Walnut that is now known as the Rotunda.

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PHOTOS: Disco Decending at Suzanne Roberts

Posted August 29th, 2008

Festival friends, donors, and staff gussied up for the preview of Disco Descending last night at Suzanne Roberts Theatre on Broad Street.

Click below (read more) to see more pics and click here to read a quick review in the City Paper. Deni Kasrel writes: “…the sly boogie-down disco inferno soundtrack elicits smiles, as this zany Underworld truly turns the beat around on a classic myth.”

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Photos by JJ Tiziou. Visit JJ’s website: www.jjtiziou.net.

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PRESS: We’re on page one!

Posted August 28th, 2008

Page one of The Philadelphia Inquirer no less! Howie Shapiro writes: “The Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe, launched modestly if ambitiously 11 years ago, is now one of the nation’s powerhouse arts events.” Click here to read more.

A powerhouse arts event AND a powerhouse taxidermy event? You decide.

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PRESS: City Paper is covering us from head to toe

Posted August 28th, 2008

City Paper is really outdoing itself this year–Check out their official Festival page for all of the latest reviews, interviews, and articles about Festival shows and artists. This week, you’ll find articles on store, The European Lesson, louder, and the latest exploits of Pig Iron’s membership.

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“With 22 Live Arts performances — half of them international — and a whopping 172 Fringe happenings, there are literally thousands of creative bodies descending on Philadelphia and brightening up our urban spaces. Even if it means lying facedown in the middle of the sidewalk, playing dead.” –Carolyn Huckabay (read the rest of the article here)

PRESS: Five Pages of Nick Stuccio

Posted August 28th, 2008

Philadelphia Magazine followed our producing director around for an entire day and they learned a lot!

“As the wild, unpredictable Fringe Festival — this month staging its 12th season — has grown into an internationally acclaimed event, co-founder Nick Stuccio has become Philly’s arbiter of the avant-garde.”

Click here and read on.

PRESS: We’re on the A-list

Posted August 27th, 2008

Take a break from the convention coverage and grab a copy of this week’s Philly Weekly ( or click here if you’re lazy) and check out all the Festival shows that made this week’s A-list: Sea of Birds, Wandering Alice, Pig Iron’s Sweet By-and-By and Wawapalooza.