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Posts Tagged ‘Dance’

Happy Hour on the Fringe with the creators of Variations on Themes from Lost and Found, Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez

Posted September 28th, 2018

FringeArts’s signature podcast, Happy Hour on the Fringe, is our chance to relax, have a drink, and get to know the inner workings of our favorite artists’ minds. Grab a drink of your own and join hosts Raina, Zach, and Katy for the laughs and conversation every Wednesday.

Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez returned to Philadelphia to introduce Fringe Festival audiences to Ishmael’s friend and collaborator, John Bernd, in their profoundly moving Fringe Festival piece Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works bHappy Hour on the Fringe Logoy John Bernd. In the piece, the duo took excerpts of dance performances created by John Bernd in the last seven years of his life and reimagined them to create an entirely new work that captures the vitality of John’s vision, demonstrates how his influence lives in modern-day dance, and serves as a blueprint for what his work might have become. 

Now, the collaborators stop by Happy Hour on the Fringe, and tell our hosts Katy, Raina, and Zach more about the life, legacy and work of the dancer, choreographer, artist, and friend and how the dance and gay communities are still affected by and mourning the loss of so many artists to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Grab a drink and listen to the conversation below or here.

International Fringe 2018: A Welcome to Artists from Around the World

Posted September 2nd, 2018

The United States government may be pursuing an isolationist policy but the Philadelphia Fringe is doing the opposite: opening its doors not only to the most creative American performers and performances but also to the best and most creative theater artists and their productions from around the world—overcoming the ancient fear of the symbolic Tower of Babel with people not understanding each other.

To show the worldwide scope of the 22nd Philadelphia Fringe Festival, we offer this spotlight on performers from abroad and productions by American artists that present a global perspective.

Theater writer Henrik Eger, editor of Drama Around the Globe and contributor to Phindie and Broad Street Review, among other publications, has lived in six countries on three continents and has visited Africa and Australia as well. He bids everyone a hearty WELCOME to the City of Brotherly Love—this year in 18 different languages: Arabic, Celtic, Chinese, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Latin, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish.

We start this year’s overview with a special welcome to two programs featuring a wide range of global creators:

INTERNATIONAL CREATIVES

  1. le super grandBienvenue & welcome to Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard and Le Super Grand ContinentalLe Grand Continental wowed audiences during its run at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has garnered enthusiastic response across the world. Fully realizing a blissful marriage between the pure delight of line dancing and the fluidity and expressiveness of contemporary dance, the celebratory event enlists hundreds of local people to perform its synchronized choreography in large-scale public performances. The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in an even larger spectacle of dance.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bonvenon, willkommen, bienvenido, witamy, bienvenue & welcome to Do You Want A Cookie? from The Bearded Ladies Cabaret—a world premiere with an international cast. Do You Want A Cookie? serves up a delicious romp through cabaret history, with an international cast of artists performing a live revue of cabaret from the Chat Noir to Weimar nightlife to 21st-century drag. The all-star cast comes draws from around the world, including Bridge Markland (Berlin), Malgorzata Kasprzycka (Paris/Warsaw), Dieter Rita Scholl (Berlin), and Tareke Ortiz (Mexico City).

More info and tickets here

REFUGEES and EXILES

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    As Far As My Fingertips Take Me. Photo by

    وسهلا اهلا (ahlaan wasahlan) & bienvenu. Welcome to Tania El Khoury who lives in Lebanon and the UK with her multifaceted program ear-whispered. Little is known about Palestinian refugee camps and their communities. El Khoury presents her Fringe work in five parts through interactive performances and installations at Bryn Mawr College:

    1. Gardens Speak, an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    2. Camp Pause, a video installation that tells the stories of four residents of the Rashidieh Refugee Camp on the coast of Lebanon. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.
    3. As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, an encounter through a gallery wall between a single audience member and a refugee. (Old City & Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.  
    4. Stories of Refuge, an immersive video installation that invites audiences to lay down on metal bunk beds and watch videos shot by Syrian asylum seekers in Munich, Germany. (Old City.) Read more.
    5. Tell Me What I Can Do, a newly commissioned work featuring letters that audiences have written in response to Gardens Speak. (Bryn Mawr College.) Read more.

More info and tickets here

  1. Bienvenido & welcome to the bilingual (Spanish & English) cast of La Fábrica performing Gustave Ott’s Passport. Lost in a foreign country, Eugenia is detained and thrown into a vicious maelstrom of miscommunication. This poetic and immersive Kafkaesque thriller delves into the question of immigration—exposing the mechanics of language and power. Some performances will be presented in English, some in Spanish, and some will be decided at the toss of a coin.

More info and tickets here

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Filipino Folkdance, Contemporary Ballet, and Motherhood: Annielille Gavino Kollman’s HERstory

Posted August 11th, 2017

Annielille Gavino Kollman in HERstory.

What do you get when you combine modern choreography, folkdance polyrhythms, and a baby? The dances of Annielille Gavino Kollman bring together eastern and western styles, while incorporating many other disciplines, and using a group of dancers diverse in both race and generation. Her newest work, HERstory, is a three-part production that investigates the theme of motherhood and culture, and is supported by the Small But Mighty Art Grant. Annielille’s dance is about her homeland (the Philippines) as a mother and acts as a celebration and portrait of the women there and around the world. She first learned dance as a folkdancer, and now incorporates the styles from her country into contemporary movements. Much of the work is autobiographical, expressing her experience as a mother and as a Filipina woman, but it also includes the backstories of the other dancers, who contribute vibrant rhythms by clapping, stomping, and yelling. Additionally, HERstroy features spoken word through poetry written by the dancers and Lenora Howard, film projection by Jasmine Lynea Callis, and music composed by Maya Simonee.

Born in the Philippines, Annielille lived there until coming to New York after college. She attended the The Ailey School of dance in 2000, which caters to minorities who were often overlooked in the world of ballet and modern dance. She left the country “on impulse” but she also left to escape extremely difficult circumstances. She was tired of being silenced as a woman, and of experiences of abuse by men.  “I was too vocal. I think that was the problem for them. I was too strong to be a submissive wife.” She had been dancing since she could remember, and was a highly skilled folkdancer. “It was just a way for me to get out of the country so I just followed that, because I was good at it. It became cathartic to me, too, so I just kept doing it.”

After studying at Ailey, she danced around the United States for different companies, touring in Colorado, and then in Texas. Later she moved to Virginia, where she found very little creative dance, and a society that was less accepting of her than they had been in New York. “It was very segregated,” she says. “Being in a place where I saw Confederate flags every day of my life, I started to make art. I became a political artist at first, and more of a performance artist.” She had her daughter, and started teaching her dance. “When I didn’t have an outlet for dance, I started teaching her texture, colors, and letters through dance.” She also started choreographing for a Filipino folk dance group, and began teaching her folk dances. She moved to Philadelphia two years ago, a welcome change. “I liked the grit, and a little bit of a faster pace. I love the row houses, and the little streets, where people can connect easier than in wider, suburban space. I feel more at home in cities like this.” Once in Philadelphia, she started dancing for Kun-Yang Li/Dancers, and soon, creating her own projects.

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Moving Against the Tides with Olive Prince

Posted August 9th, 2017

Olive Prince and Brandie Ou in Silencing the Tides

“In watching the tide and the ocean, I think a lot about how it slowly and suddenly shifts. You have to look at it closely, but it totally changes, from the beginning of tide to the end of tide. And I hope I do that with this space.”

Olive Prince founded her dance company in 2008, and since then, has been devising, creating, and teaching highly dynamic works of art. Olive Prince Dance (or OPD) works are often site-specific, such as past productions in the Magic Gardens and in the Iron Factory. For this year’s festival, however, the show is held in the Ballroom Philadelphia, and she is working with visual artist Carrie Powell as a conceptual collaborator for the show. Carrie is building a sculpture that will create an entirely new type of space for the dance. The show, called Silencing the Tides, is a work that exists under and around a large sculpture fabricated from clothing. The show is based on the idea of free will, juxtaposed with messages and metaphors from nature. She evokes strong images of the ocean’s tide, many of the ideas growing from the feeling of sand and the changing nature of the waves. The dancers sway between working together as large forces, and breaking out into their own movements. Sometimes calm, sometimes violent, they may break down barriers as if they were bodies of water, or they may escape each other as if they were sand.

Olive and Carrie are close friends, and the idea for Silencing the Tides grew out of conversations they had together last year. “We’re both artists, and we’re both mothers, and we often spend time together with our kids talking about art.” Carrie often writes poetry and creates drawings to go along with the ideas. She started making drawings that looked like piles of laundry. They talked together and started thinking about ideas of free will, as well as the forces of nature. Olive was drawing inspiration from literature she was reading, including “The Things they Carried” by Tim O’Brien:

“They did not submit to the obvious alternative, which was simply to close the eyes and fall. So easy, really. Go limp and tumble to the ground and let the muscles unwind and not speak and not budge till your buddies picked you up and lifted you into the chopper that would roar and dip its nose and carry you off to the world. A mere matter of falling, yet no one ever fell.”

She also brought in pieces of The Venerable Bede, from 703 CE (“The most admirable thing of all is this union of the ocean with the orbit of the Moon…the sea violently covers the coast far and wide…unwittingly drawn up by some breathings of the Moon.”) as well as Johnathan White and Mary Oliver’s short story, “Swoon.” “I had this really strong image of free will,” she says, “and going against the tide, and so we started exploring that.” Eventually the conversation between Olive and Carrie became the basis of the work. These conceptual conversations combining ideas from movement, visual art, poetry, are integral to the creation of new work, and it has become a defined process that they call in-the-round reciprocity.

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It Wasn’t Me

Posted June 20th, 2016

FB headers DJ-03

Join us as we reminisce of the past and deny everything she ever caught you doing.
FEATURING:
00s HIPHOP/DANCE/POP
SHAGGY
TRL VIBES
BLEACHED HAIR
PRE-07 MELTDOWN BRITNEY
Our very own “IT WASN’T YOU” CONFESSION BOARD-All night we be accepting confessions and denials for anything you may or may not have been caught doing, JUST SAY IT WASN’TYOU!!!

The Queer Agenda

Posted June 11th, 2016

Queer-Agenda-Post-CardCelebrate Pride Month the best way you know how… by dancing all night long! Saturday, June 11th at 10:30pm FringeArts is hosting a FREE night full of music and dancing with beats from DJ Dame Luz. With his mix of pop, rap, and house featuring queer anthems and artists, you will be begging your friends to cancel the uber ride home!

FREE

Fringe Festival Sneak Peak: nora chipaumire

Posted June 6th, 2016

nora chipaumire is bringing her dance-theater work, portrait of myself as my father, to the 2016 Fringe Festival, co-presented with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Here is a video in which chipaumire discusses her piece and process.

“I think I’m a full-time movement researcher”

Posted September 18th, 2015

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Did you get tickets for David Zambrano’s Soul Project, up tonight and tomorrow at Christ Church Neighborhood House? No? Sorry, it’s sold out. Your humble blog manager won’t even be able to go . Lucky for you, whether you have tickets or not, we’ve gotten permission to run an interview from Nouvelles de Danse 32/33 with David to give you some insight into his processes. The interview was conducted by Agnès Benoit in May 1995, during the workshop “La Composition Instantanée — Approches et techniques d’improvisation,” organized by Mark Tompkins at the TCD (Théâtre Contemporain de la Danse) in Paris.

How would you define yourself as a performer? Do you consider yourself as an improviser?

Yes, before anything else I like to see myself as an improviser. I like improvisation a lot. That’s what I’ve been doing since I started, somehow without knowing what I was doing until I met Simone Forti and other people, but especially Simone. When I saw her doing… (David imitates animal sounds), I said — “that’s what I love to do.”

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On “Available Light”

Posted September 13th, 2015
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Finished

Perhaps I’m a wee bit emotionally fraught, but I almost cried twice at the beauty of Lucinda Childs‘s Available Light during opening night. The sold-out run closed Saturday, but we have a great interview that Lucinda did with Alisa Regas of Pomegranate Arts, below for your perusal. Whether you saw the piece or not, they offer an excellent overview of its creation, Childs’s collaborations over the years, and the processes of remounting past works. They spoke in October, 2014:

Alisa Regas: I’d like you to describe some of the history of Available Light and what the work is.

Lucinda Childs: In 1983 I choreographed Available Light, a 55-minute work with music by John Adams, décor by the architect Frank Gehry, and costumes by Ronaldus Shamask. And this was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, in particular by Julie Lazar, who came to BAM [Brooklyn Academy of Music] in 1979 and saw Dance, my first major collaboration after working on Einstein on the Beach in 1976 with Robert Wilson and Philip Glass. In any case, once she saw Dance, which had a film décor by Sol LeWitt, and music by Philip Glass, she had the idea to commission a work for the west coast, and we met, and she said to me, “Do you know John Adams, by any chance?” And I said, “Yes, I know John Adams,” I knew perfectly well who he was, and had some of his recordings, and she also mentioned Frank Gehry, another very famous person on the West Coast, and the idea of a possible collaboration between these artists, the three of us, together. I thought it was a marvelous idea, and I came out to MOCA to meet with them, and we sat and we talked about it. John was very interested in the idea of creating a work for a dance company, and we talked about the fact that dancers, my dancers in particular, are used to working with a certain kind of pulse, or a certain kind of rhythmical structure that we can follow, which is very much the case with the music of Philip Glass. He more or less abided by that with his music, which is completely different from Philip Glass, but there are some parts of the music, which actually don’t have a metrical base, but they’re very beautiful passages, so I learned to work with my company in a special way regarding the music. Frank Gehry said, “I really need to meet with you, I really need you to come back out again, we need to talk about this and figure out what we are going to do.” So I came back out to Los Angeles, to his wonderful office in LA, and I said, “I like the idea of something perhaps on another level, perhaps on the sides,” and he liked this idea very much and did some drawings and sketches and we finally decided that this split level would be a lovely idea for the piece.

After the jump: set, materials, site-specificity, and returning to past work.

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“Very Provocative and Rude”

Posted September 10th, 2015

Still-Standing-You_pers-2---PhileDeprez7522-202x300Did you catch the excellent interview with Pieter Ampe in Philadelphia Magazine‘s “The Ticket”? No? You should. Sarah Jordan talks to him about the intensity of Still Standing You, which has it’s last performances tonight and tomorrow at the Painted Bride. There are promises of ball-tugging. Tickets here.

Photo by Phile Deprez.

Monday Night is Scratch Night: the Itch Returns!

Posted August 24th, 2015

Welcome back to Scratch Night at FringeArts!

Come see a roster of Philly’s most talented artists perform new material from shows they are working on in this fast-paced sampling of contemporary theater, dance, performance art, and everything in between. Scratch Night features short performances by four-to-six companies/artists, offering an inside look at the future of performance.

This week’s lineup includes artists from our 2015 Northern Liberties Fringe, South Philly Fringe, and Fishtown-Kensington Fringe festivals. Performances begin at 7 on our main stage at FringeArts at 140 N. Columbus Boulevard. Admission is free!

MONDAY, AUGUST 24 LINEUP:

Gunnar Montana: PURGATORY

hires_purgatory-5Gunnar Montana takes us to church with another wickedly beautiful production – his most mature and thought-provoking work yet. Be baptized in this raw and sometimes uncomfortable exploration of the state of Purgatory, examined through a series of very human struggles that bring people to their knees each and every day

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Sanders’ JUNK: American StandardAmerican-Standard_JUNK-crop-300x141

Escape the crush of urban living and be transported to a more bucolic way of life; American Standard mulls JUNK’s evocative style with the twangs of bluegrass, the sweet smell of rotting hay and bare flesh atop a shaggy Hereford. Where will a quest for a more tranquil existence lead us? Our roots hold a certain veracity…

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Center City Fringe: Get into the GROOVE!

Posted August 17th, 2015

Philadelphia Fringe Festival favorite Tongue & Groove, Philly’s cutting-edge critically-acclaimed unscripted theater company, announces a first-time collaboration with blues dancers and musicians for a unique improvised performance based on personal information from the audience. Founded in 2006, Tongue & Groove has created nine unscripted show formats, including their popular SECRETS, in which the actors are inspired by the audience’s true secrets. Tongue & Groove has been invited to perform at the Kimmel Center for both Philadelphia International Festivals of the Arts. For PIFA 2013, Tongue & Groove collaborated with dance company RealLivePeople and developed THAT TIME. That collaboration was so successful that Tongue & Groove Artistic Director, Bobbi Block, was eager to find another project in which improvisational dance and music could share the stage with the actors. That desire is being realized with GROOVE

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FringeArts: What can audiences expect when they come out for a performance of GROOVE?

Bobbi Block: When the audience arrives, they will be asked to anonymously write on a card their response to this prompt: “Describe a specific time when you were in the groove…with yourself, a partner, a group, or something you were doing.” The ensemble will draw random cards, read them aloud, and begin riffing off of the themes and characters submitted. Tongue & Groove is dedicated to exploring the collaboration between artist and patron, reflecting the spirit of each audience at every one-of-a-kind performance.

FringeArts: How do you use music and dance in the show?

Bobbi Block: GROOVE will follow Tongue & Groove’s signature format, creating a montage of scenes and monologues, both comic and dramatic. Interspersed in the montage will be blues dances that comment on and interpret the themes and characters created by the actors, inspired by the audience.

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Got an Itch? Come to Scratch Night!

Posted August 17th, 2015

Tonight is Scratch Night at FringeArts!

Come see a roster of Philly’s most talented artists perform new material from shows they are working on in this fast-paced sampling of contemporary theater, dance, performance art, and everything in between. Scratch Night features short performances by four-to-six companies/artists, offering an inside look at the future of performance.

This week we are hosting 6 artists from this year’s Center City Fringe, South Philly Fringe, Fishtown-Kensington Fringe, and Fairmount Fringe lineups. The performances begin at 7 on our FringeArts stage at 140 N. Columbus Boulevard. Admission is free!

So, what’s on tap?

MONDAY, AUGUST 17 LINEUP:Loves-Labours-Lost_Revolution-Shakespeare-271x300

 

Revolution Shakespeare: Love’s Labour’s Lost

“To fast, to study, and to see no woman,” (IV, iii) agree the gentlemen of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy of love, clowns, and wit. RevShakes’ second free fall outdoor production will be directed by Samantha Bellomo, and feature live, original music. Shows will run Fringe and post-Fringe, through Sept. 27th.

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Photo Credit: Geoff Sheil

New Street Dance Group + The Radical Sound: Structurally Sound
NSDG and new music ensemble The Radical Sound bring you a performance experience that begs the question, “Just what are we made of -and how stable is it, anyway?” Featuring choreography by Krista Armbruster and Shannon Dooling, re-imaginings of historic music, and a world premiere commission by composer Tomek Regulski.

Haygen Brice Walker: Spookfish11707785_10153020872795980_2634809601896238907_n

A haunted house that’s not a haunted house… until it is. A play
about slasher flicks, the horrors of high school, firework accidents, cat colonies, and a Canada Goose. The meanest play in this year’s Neighborhood Fringe will have you guessing who’s the Spookfish until the end. *Audience members must sign a waiver.

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Photo Credit: Kaitlin Chow

Olive Prince Dance: Of Our Remnants

The stage is set with a collection of chairs, empty frames, and abandoned objects for a dance of expressive physicality to emerge. Of Our Remnants is an intimate site-specific work where visual art and dance collide. The viewer is immersed in the installation creating an absorbing impact from all vantage points.

 

Brian Shapiro Presents: A Few Thousand Upgrades Later

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Photo Credit: Kevin Monko

In 1995, nobody downloaded, payphones existed, and performer Brian Shapiro created a show on how people predicted computers would impact human interaction. 20 years later, we download daily, payphones died, and Shapiro revisits that show to raise questions in an era where waiting 15 seconds for answers is wasting time!

Ferdinand Presents: NOT FOR PROFIT

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MJ Kaufman
Doug Greene
Jennifer MacMillan
Christina May
and Jack Tamburri
The theater is dying. Only three actors can save it by playing dozens of roles and telling all of their stories, from the box office to the boardroom, from the page to the stage, everything you love and everything you hate about theaters and theater people will be NOT FOR PROFIT.
Catch a glimpse of these performances in their infancy before they get all grown-up in September!

60 minutes

FREE / $5 Suggested Donation

140 N. Columbus Boulevard (at Race St.)
Philadelphia, PA 19106

-Brendan Farrell

 

Lovertits: Interview with Neighborhood Fringe artist Annie Wilson

Posted September 17th, 2014

Lovertits_Annie-Wilson-283x300“Multiple climaxes, drifting off, getting exciting again, plateau-ing out, calming down, another climax, some snuggling.”

In a performance she describes as a “burlesque-postmodern-dance-theater-bad-improv,” Annie Wilson explores our societal views on sex and the real, messy, embodied sex that humans actually have. Lovertits will run at the Ruba Club (416 Green St) from Sept 19 to Sept 21 in this year’s Fringe Festival.

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Oh My Goodness: Voguing Train

Posted August 19th, 2014

ICYMI: As featured on Huffington Post and Philadelphia Magazine, Kemar Jewel made the Broad Street line a bit more awesome recently:

(Did you know that we have shows involving voguing? Details here. And here.)

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Dancing through Diasporas: Interview with Shaily Dadiala of Usiloquy Dance Designs

Posted July 14th, 2014

“Moving to the United States changed everything.”

Shaily Dadiala in performance, 2014.

Shaily Dadiala in performance, 2014.

Shaily Dadiala, artistic director of Usiloquy Dance Designs, has been dancing Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form, since childhood. After growing up in Bardoli, a city in Gujarat, India, Shaily moved to the United States, where she formed her own ensemble. Usiloquy presents innovative, cross-cultural Bharatanatyam dances informed by stories of immigration and multiculturalism. On Saturday, July 26th, Usiloquy Dance Designs performs an original dance, Ragas and Airs, combining Bharatanatyam dance and Celtic music. We caught up with Shaily to find out more about her life as a dancer

FringeArts: What kind of dance did you do growing up?

Shaily Dadiala: At age four, I was part of a kindergarten dance group in India. I distinctly remember rehearsals, shopping for jewelry with my mother, and dancing at the annual gathering on stage. It was a “welcome dance” inaugurating the event.

I started learning Bharatanatyam at age nine. You had to be sixteen years old in order to take the state board exam at the end of the seven-year course’s graduation. Before the formal training, I would excitedly throw my arms and legs around in make-believe dance concerts.

FringeArts: How did you decide to specialize in Bharatanatyam? 

Shaily Dadiala: I owe genuine gratitude to my parents for that. They recognized the dance itch in me as something that wouldn’t go away, something that needed formal nurture. My home town at that time offered structured training only in Bharatanatyam. My parents enrolled me, and I was entranced from day one. The style feels encoded, almost epigenetically, and it has never been a matter of choosing it over another.

FringeArts: Did moving to the United States change your relationship to dance?

Shaily Dadiala: Moving to the United States changed everything. Until then, Bharatanatyam was something I simply enjoyed. The experience of being an immigrant here—the pressure to assimilate, the desire to belong, the stereotyping—has deeply informed my dance discipline over the years. My dance practice has represented how I myself have navigated the tensions of creating a home here in the United States while I remain true to the classical grammar of Bharatanatyam movement. My inspiration comes from preserved music styles, folklore, and cultural practices of the myriad diasporas I see around me, and I see my journey reflected in theirs.

Usiloquy Dance Designs in performance, 2013.

Usiloquy Dance Designs in performance, 2013.

FringeArts: How did you decide to form Usiloquy Dance Designs?

Shaily Dadiala: I wanted to project my work through the texture and complexity that only an ensemble can bring to the stage. I quit my full-time job and established Usiloquy in 2008. Students had been taking classes with me since 2006, some of whom I invited to join the company. “Soliloquy” was my favorite Shakespeare word. Replacing “Sol” with “Us” to make “Usiloquy”—our conversations—seemed like a pretty neat neologism to me. Besides, Bharatanatyam was the only element that I could coherently tie to the narrative of my birth country.

FringeArts: What is it like to teach an Indian dance form in the United States?

Shaily Dadiala: It is mostly fun and interesting. I think the average dance student and aspirant dancer is hard working and eager to learn. Sure, there is plenty of background knowledge like the history of the dance, symbols from ancient scriptures, and cultural jargon that I cannot take for granted. Teaching non-South Asian students has become a refining mechanism for my historical knowledge! There is a healthy curiosity and yearning for training across all age groups and institutions, which is highly encouraging. There are some weird instances though, when Bharatanatyam is confused with Bollywood dance or belly dance.

FringeArts: How do you use the meeting of cultures to create work?

Shaily Dadiala: Music is the trigger, usually. If I hear certain music and it intrigues me enough, I start digging deeper into the culture at large. We all are immigrants, give or take a few years or a few centuries. Immigration creates diasporas, which, curiously enough, preserve old music and cultures more judiciously than their originating sources. As a choreographer, I seek points of intersection between my immigrant identity and adaptation of my classical dance training. I create works drawing upon the fundamental vocabulary of rhythmic footwork, hand gestures, and mime inherent to Bharatanatyam, juxtaposed with music and narrative devices not traditional to South Indian arts.

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So Much To Do This Weekend!

Posted May 27th, 2014

What’s come to our attention:

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27, New Paradise Laboratories

Remember New Paradise Laboratories’ hit performance 27 in the 2012 Fringe Festival? Whether you missed it the first time or are eager for more, 27 returns Thursday, May 29th through Saturday, May 31st at the Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine Street. Members of the “27 Club” of talented musicians who passed away at the age of 27—Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Jimi Hendrix—explore purgatory and deal with a new arrival to their group. Questions of musical genius, mortality, and the afterlife coalesce in this performance pulsing with music composed by guitar prodigy Alec MacLaughlin. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and can be purchased online.

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Kate Aid of Tangle Movement Arts. Photo by Michael Ermilio.

Looking for some circus arts this weekend? The Porch at 30th Street Station has been showcasing a series of dance and physical theater performances this spring and summer. On Saturday, May 31st at 2pm and 4pm, the Porch will come alive with acrobats and aerial dance in Tangle Movement Arts’ free performance of their new and original work Passages. The urban circus-theater will explore daily life in urban Philadelphia and play with the idea of 30th Street Station as a public center for Philadelphia. The rain date is Saturday, June 8th. More information can be found at: www.tangle-arts.com

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Performers in CATCH Takes Philly

After you leave 30th Street Station, head over to The Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N American Street at 8pm on Saturday, May 31st, for the explosion of performance events that is CATCH Takes Philly. Usually confined to Brooklyn, this weekend CATCH joins Philadelphia’s Thirdbird for a night of dance, theater, video, performance, and beer. CATCH Takes Philly will feature Tei Blow, Cara Francis, Meg Foley, Groundswell Theater Company, Cynthia Hopkins, Jaamil Kosoko, No Face Performance Group, Brain Osborne, Matt Romein, and Saúl Ulerio. Tickets are $15 at the door, beer included.

Round off your weekend by attending the culmination of a year of research into voice and movement improvisation by the Leah Stein Dance Company on Sunday, June 1st, at 5pm. The renowned composer Pauline Oliveros developed the deep listening method of incorporating environmental sounds into musical performance, and has been working with the Leah Stein Dance Company to explore the relationship between deep listening and movement. Oliveros, Stein, seven dancers, and seven singers will conduct a free performance, panel discussion, and opportunity for audience participation at The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, this Sunday. More information can be found at: www.leahsteindanceco.org.

Leah Stein Dance Company conducing research with Pauline Oliveros.

Leah Stein Dance Company conducing research with Pauline Oliveros

–Miriam Hwang-Carlos

Preview: Colin Dunne’s “Out of Time”

Posted September 19th, 2013

Opening tonight! Here’s a taste.

You can also take an Irish step dance workshop with Colin on Saturday! If you’re interested, RSVP here.

Colin Dunne performs Out of Time September 19, 20, and 21 at the Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. $20-$35; all shows 7:00 p.m.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

New York Times: Road Trip to FringeArts for Dance

Posted September 3rd, 2013

thesociety1Siobhan Burke tells New Yorkers that it’s time to head to Philadelphia for “New Fringe”–I suppose we are rechristened, after all.

Adding to the growing tradition of The New York Times sending its readers here for shows, Burke calls out four pieces in particular: Jo Stromgren’s “darkly funny physical theater production” The Society, Brian Sanders’ “different kind of mayhem” in Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak, Reggie Wilson’s premiere of Moses(es) and Colin Dunne’s “singular deconstruction of Irish dance” Out of Time. Story here.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photo by Knut Bry.

Other Blogs: Lessons From Newt Gingrich on How to Make America Love Performing Arts

Posted August 21st, 2013
Good people.

Good people.

A few months ago, Phindie.com, a new website covering Philadelphia theater and arts, re-publsihed an old blog post of mine from 2011 titled Lessons from Newt Gingrich: or how we in the theatre and dance communities can stop acting like losers and learn to make the nation love us. The article (originally published in the currently dormant theppaa.org), spurred by going through an old stack of New Yorkers and reading a profile of John Bohner, details his mentor Newt’s rise to prominence and his ability to change the course of a defeated Republican Party largely through rhetoric and looks to apply that same thinking to the performing arts. Rereading the article recently, I thought, wow, there’s some pretty good stuff in there that continues to be super-relevent.

Lessons from Newt poses a number of the following questions: “How often have you heard that performing arts are dying, that we’re a niche market, that you can never make a living off of it, that we’re a charity case? That dance and theatre will never be the way it used to? Have you ever caught yourself saying, as an excuse for some failure or inability to accomplish a simple task or even some slightly unseemly arrangement in your programming: well, you have to understand, that’s life in the performing arts.”

And goes on:

“Do you accept as given that theatre and dance will never be as culturally or socially as relevant as TV or film? Has it ever bothered you, that whether through foundation giving or corporate giving or the generosity of patron saints, that you have geared your programming, and by dint your organization, to appease the money that comes from those aforementioned sources, as oppose to appeasing your artistic vision and audiences? Yet you still make the spurious claim that you are not commercial because you have sold out to your funding “partners” as oppose to Dentyne?”

Who should come to the rescue of this dilemma? Newt Gingrich, that’s who! To quote from The New Yorker profile upon which Lessons is based:  “After Newt Gingrich served a few terms as a member of the Republican minority in Congress, a circumstance he detested, he devised a plan to achieve what most of his colleagues could scarcely conceive—a Republican majority in the House. Gingrich believed that the G.O.P. had been the minority party for so long—ever since the first Eisenhower Administration—that Republicans had lost the ability to imagine themselves as anything else.” (My emphasis.)

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