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Posts Tagged ‘Le Grand Continental’

You can be Le Super Grand

Posted May 21st, 2018

Do you want to be a part of a grand Fringe Festival show? Here’s your chance. Audition next month to participate in Le Super Grand Continental, one of the world’s most infectious art events.

Le Grand Continental® Philadelphia Museum of Art Plaza, Philadelphia Fringe Festival

Photo by Sylvain Émard Danse

The 2012 Fringe Festival kicked off with a large scale performance unlike anything Philadelphia had seen before. One hundred and fifty volunteer dancers of all ages and backgrounds assembled at the iconic Philadelphia Art Museum steps and twirled into a rhythmic human kaleidoscope of celebratory dance. Le Grand Continental was a joyous and intoxicating spectacle, one that united people from across Philadelphia’s diverse communities and was praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “fantastic… it left the audience cheering for more.”

Since then Le Grand Continental has travelled across the globe, gathering together hundreds of dance enthusiasts to perform its sensational choreography, which combines festive line dancing with the fluidity and expressiveness of contemporary dance.

“In every city the reaction is the same,” says Montreal’s Sylvain Émard, the mastermind behind this acclaimed work. “No matter the culture, the participants experience the same excitement and emotions. Same for the audiences. There is an obvious sense of pride to achieve such a challenge. It also allows the people to somehow reconnect with the city they live in.”

This year, the Fringe Festival will be ushered in once again Sept 8 & 9, 2018, with Émard’s unifying work, but with one key difference. As the title Le Super Grand Continental suggests, this time around Émard and his team are doing it bigger and are looking to gather 200 dancers to realize this remarkable performance, which features whole-new choreography.

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Illadelph or Portlandia?

Posted September 18th, 2012

Ellen Freeman is a freelance writer and former Festival Blog intern who is based in Oregon.

We’re iller than thou. Portland’s still pretty awesome, though.

Remember the segment Adam Carolla used to do on the radio show Loveline called “Germany or Florida?” Oh, you had better things to do at 11:00 pm on weekdays than listen to ecstasy-addled sexually-active teens discuss their problems with Dr. Drew? Well the concept was simple: listeners would call in with bizarre news headlines like “Woman wearing sausage earrings is mauled by pack of toy poodles” and the hosts would try to guess whether the event took place in Germany or Florida.

Here at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, we’ve come up with an even better game called “Philadelphia or Portland?” The two cities have been duking it out for supremacy in the categories of foodie snobbery, beer-lovers-per-capita, and rapidity of gentrification for years, but they’ve got something else in common—both are currently hosting some of the world’s finest performing arts festivals: the Time Based Art Festival in Portland and the Live Arts/Fringe Fest here, of course. We’ve compiled a list of highlights from both festivals, leaving it up to you to guess which city you can catch each event in. And before you say “That’s so ___________ (fill in city here),” remember that the answers may surprise you.

1) Shakespeare’s classic Antony and Cleopatra is transported through time and space to modern-day Egypt, as represented by the Nefertiti busts and sarcophagi of the Ancient Egyptian wing of the host city’s art museum.

2) Fat-livered audience members shotgun beers in time with the cast of a drinking-game-cum-sketch-comedy-show performed in a pub.

3) One of the creators of those wacky Old Spice commercials pulls audience members onstage for a live life-coaching session.

4) Audiences downward-dog and open their heart chakras to live acoustic music in a nirvana-inducing musical yoga journey.

5) More than 150 amateur dancers celebrate the joy of community in a performance that’s part flash-mob, part line dance extravaganza.

6) A genderqueer chanteuse belts out her R&B condemnation of societal evils like the gender binary and capitalism while making ample use of butt plugs and onstage golden showers.

7) An experimental American pop band plays auto-tuned covers of Tuareg desert jams.

8) A choreographer who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome crafts a dance inspired by her own tics.

9) Audiences will recognize the harsh fluorescent lighting and excruciating/hilarious mundanity of these gesture-driven vignettes depicting office life, performed in Japanese with projected English subtitles.

After the jump: Answers!

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No Snooze in This News

Posted September 10th, 2012

Spooky spooktacular! Not really. But after the jump, coverage of Fringe in cemeteries, my friend Cherri interviews Jumatatu Poe for KYW, some top picks from our media posse, and more. Rounding up the roundups again, here we go:

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Le Grand Rehearsal Director: Sarah Gladwin Camp

Posted September 6th, 2012

Blog contributor Marina Kec talked to Sarah Gladwin Camp this week about Le Grand Continental, the energetic dance extravaganza taking to the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the 2012 Live Arts Festival. Over 150 performers from different walks of life and with varying levels of dance experience will band together this weekend, and Sarah’s been responsible for helping Sylvain Émard make this a reality. Here’s what she had to say, both to Marina, and in an interview with Philly.com, after the jump:

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Le Grand Continental: Voices from the Nosebleed Section

Posted August 28th, 2012

“All here!” say Le Grand Continental Philly participants.

On August 7, Le Grand Continental held its first full-participant rehearsal: 150 volunteer performers from the Philadelphia area gathered in Penn’s Class of 1923 Ice Rink to practice for the September 8 and 9 shows at the 2012 Live Arts Festival. Like specters of actual spectators, bikes sat up in the stands and helmets looked on as the heads they protected remarried their pedaling legs: now graceful, they side-stepped, pivoted, and lounged in syncopated time.

Humid as Hades (and iceless, too), the rink rehearsal marked the first where all the volunteers gathered in one space; until then dancers had been practicing the 30-minute dance performance in two separate groups. Smaller rehearsals made the logistics of mastering the routine less nightmarish, and finally coming together meant that the team could focus on spacing issues and what it would feel like to dance as part of a crowd. Ignoring my own urge to jump on-rink, I talked with several participants about what motivated them to become, as phrased in a recent article about the performance by Philadelphia Magazine, ‘citizen dancers.’

After the jump: Philly residents get their groove back, and Le Grand Continental in Montreal

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News About Us!

Posted August 27th, 2012

>>>6ABC loves the arts that we do; story featuring El Jefe Nick Stuccio above, and plugs for Sequence 8, Bang, and Le Grand Continental.

>>>The Inquirer plugs Barbie Blended: A Pop Rockin’ Musical, which gets a head start on the 2012 Philly Fringe with early shows this weekend.

>>>The Daily News, Technically Philly, and Newsworks all have Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Open Air on the brain.

>>>Alum news, via Playbill: Elephant Room, which premiered at the 2011 Live Arts Festival, goes Hollywood at the Kirk Douglas Theater.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Le Grand Continental about to Get Grand

Posted August 6th, 2012

You sign up yet to dance in Le Grand Continental? If not, get on it. If you did, don’t forget: tonight is the must-do recruitment session, 7:00 pm, 5th and Fairmount, please RSVP. Rehearsals start tomorrow! Here’s something like what you’ll get to do at the Art Museum:

Even if you’re not going to dance for us, you can see everybody who is at the Live Arts Festival in September. For free!

Le Grand Continental runs September 8 at 4:00 and 8:00 pm, and September 9 at 4:00 pm. Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, N. 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Fairmount. Free!

–Nicholas Gilewicz