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Le Super Grand Continental

Posted September 9th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterviewFurther ReadingVideo

“The roar from hundreds of spectators went from loud to deafening as the choreographed dance began to take energetic life … It left the audience cheering for more.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“In every city the reaction is the same. The participants and the audience experience the same excitement and emotions … People somehow reconnect with the city they live in.” Sylvain Émard

The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an even larger spectacle of dance.

A joyously big line dance by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard, Le Grand Continental ® wowed audiences during its run at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has garnered enthusiastic response across the world — from New York to Mexico City to Wellington, New Zealand. 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.

Performed by a diverse cast of 200 Philadelphians from all ages and dance backgrounds, the expanded Le Super Grand Continental brings whole new choreography to a festive—and FREE—dance extravaganza at one of the city’s most iconic locations. After each performance, the crowd is invited to join the dancers as the performance area becomes a huge open-air dance floor.

FREE

Choreography Sylvain Émard Sound Design Martin Tétreault, Michael Kiley Lighting Design Dom Chacon Rehearsal Director and Dancer Sarah Gladwin Camp Stage Manager Jessica DeStefano Assistant Stage Manager Samantha Dugan Technical Director Scott Halstead Soundman Row Walters Rehearsal Assistants and Dancers Sanchel Brown, Edgardo Colon, Amalia Colon-Nava, Bethany Formica, Nick Jonczak, Rhonda Moore, Gabrielle Revlock DJ Emcee Elroy

Amateur Dancers Abigail Schnapf, Alec Chupik, Alexa (Sasha) Radtke, Alexa Asher, Alice Allsopp, Amy Lalime, Ana Radonjic, Angeles Gonzalez-Prado, Anita Nicholson, Ann Ehrich, Archelle Weston, Arianna Rom, Ashli Talley, Aubreya Lewis, Axel Bauriedel, Béla Levin-dorko, Bella Gibson, Bellisant Corcoran-Mathe, Beverly Agard, Bobbi Block, Bonnie MacMillan, Caraya Harris, Carol Purfield, Cassie Myers, Cat Aboudara, Catherine M Schmitt, Cecily Alexandria Chapman, Cherese Verdi, Christina Staab, Christine Mantey, Claire Shoyer, Claudia Levin-Dorko, Clifford Schwinger, Colana Tymes, Connor Harrison, Curita C Goode, David Calloway, David Chin, Debbie DiGiacobbe, Debbie Gerbec, Deborah Schuman, Deirdre Miller, Delaney McKeon, Ed Nace, Eileen Fisher, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, Ellen Dunkel, Emalyn Staab, Emma Bedoukian, Erica Wexler, Felice Schwartz, Frances Bartlett, Francie Woodford, Gianna Lerro, Grisel Garate, Helen Burke, Hydie Miller, Inda Hennessy, Isabella Greenfield, Jackie McLaughlin, Jae Hennessy, Jai Wexler, James Lemma Jr., Jane McDaniel, Jane Piecuch, Janet Pinkerton, Janis Moore Campbell, Jarmel Reitz, Jasmine Smith, Jeff Bullard, Jen Marvelous, Jenna McLaughlin, Jennifer E Greenfield, Jennifer Huth, John Kearney, Joseph Fong, Jude Robison, Judie Christiansen, Judy MacMillan, Judy Williams, Justine Sefcik, Kariann Heslop, Kate Spellissy, Kate Tejada, Katelyn Baron, Katherine Mui, Katherine Wohlsen, Kathryn Yumiko Kono, Katie Scheuer, Kecia Fong, Kelly Farrelly, Ken Warren, Kylin Mettler, Laila Michelle Clark, Laura Naden, Laura Paoloni, Lauren Brown, Lauren Bryant, Lauren Fanslau, Leeia Ferguson, Leila Cohen, Lid Reilly, Lilly McGonigle, Lindsey Clutter, Lindsey Huster, Lisa Marie Renk, Lisle Hummerston, Liz Baldwin, Liz Clark, Louisiane Verger, Luke Beauregard, Luz Rivera, Maci Brielle Haggerty, Madeline Winters, Margarette Mongeau, Mark Thompson, Mary Madden, Maura Sutherland, Max Vasapoli, Megan Meiris, Michael LaMonaca, Michele Stulman, Mike Healy, Nancy Frey, Nancy G Heller, Nancy Kelleher, Nancy Nieves, Nani Manion, Nani Shin, Natalie Margasak, Nicola Ingram, Nijah Famous, Nina Angela McKissock, Nina Giacobbe, Nina Sherak, Oskar Bauriedel, Patty Bulack, Pierie Korostoff, Rachel Crowley, Rachel Dumka, Rachel Weisberg, Rebecca Godofsky, Regan Buker, Rejoice Jula, Renee Kalandar, Rhoda Williams, Rosanne Sarkissian, Samantha Jeune, Sarah Greenblatt, Sebastian Hamilton, Selene Platt, Senaka Peter, Shayla Abdul-Wali, Sheri Utain, Sheryl Hand, Signe Spragins, Sogol Shirazi, Sonja Bekken, Sophia Abraham-Raveson, Sophia Levin, Stephanie Seymour, Taylor Frome, Tina Heuges, Tracia Smith, Virginia Hedges, Yelena Zeng, Yolanda Moran, Zakiyyah Muhammad, Zanna Yoshida, Zoey Bonfante

Photos (featured, Montreal 2017) Robert Etcheverry (above, Philadelphia 2012) Maya Daoud (below, Boston 2014) Robert Torres

Lead support for Le Super Grand Continental was provided by William Penn Foundation.

 

Le Super Grand Continental is a Sylvain Émard Danse and Festival TransAmériques co-production.

Additional support provided by Québec Government Office in New York.

 

Le Super Grand Continental is part of the SPARK: Fringe For Young Audiences series of family friendly programming. The SPARK series is made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund.

 

[Festival Producers: Salem Shuchman & Barbara Klock
Festival Executive Producers: The Rotunda]

About Sylvain Émard

Sylvain Émard danced for choreographers such as Jean-Pierre Perreault, Louise Bédard and Jo Lechay, before founding his own company Sylvain Émard Danse in 1990. His repertoire of more than 30 unique pieces has been critically praised at home and abroad. A recipient of numerous awards, Sylvain Émard often works as a guest choreographer in theater, opera, and film.


FringeArts interview with Sylvain Émard

May 2018

FringeArts: What inspired the first Le Grand Continental ®?

Sylvain Émard: As a kid, the first time I danced outside my home was at our church basement where there were line-dancing classes. Maybe that is why I was and still am fascinated by line dancing. To a point where I was often incorporating it (a bit more sophisticated I must say) in my stage work.  Then I came up with this idea of choreographing a dance piece that would mix contemporary dance and line dancing. At first I thought that this would just appeal to Montrealers because of the great popularity of line dancing here. To my surprise, I realized that although line dancing is not that popular everywhere, there is a desire for the people to get involved in an artistic project and dance is perfect for that. It has no language limitation. It is somehow universal despite the specificity of the style.

FringeArts: What do you remember about your show in Philadelphia in 2012?

Sylvain Émard: I have great memories of the performances in Philly. We had a fantastic group of participants and a great team of professionals. Very committed and enthusiastic. I remember it was raining on our first evening show but for the cast there was no question of cancelling the show. We waited a bit for the rain to calm down and danced in the rain. It was magic. For this coming edition we are expecting some dancers from the 2012 edition to take part again this year. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

FringeArts: What will be different about this show?

Sylvain Émard: It will be a whole new version, except for the Philly Soul section that was especially created for the city in 2012 and that I will keep in this year’s show.

FringeArts: How do different audiences react in different cities?

Sylvain Émard: In every city the reaction is the same. No matter the culture, the participants and the audience experience the same excitement and emotions. There is an obvious sense of pride to achieve such a challenge. People somehow reconnect with the city they live in.

Excerpt. Full interview coming soon to the FringeArts Blog.


Further Reading

Everyone’s Dancing in “Le Grand Continental” by Jonathan Stein, thINKingDANCE

Excerpt:
Continental is Whitmanesque in its passionate inclusiveness. It joyfully welds social dance and popular music with a witty, sophisticated contemporary dance consciousness.

Read the full article


Le Super Grand Continental

Posted September 8th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterviewFurther ReadingVideo

“The roar from hundreds of spectators went from loud to deafening as the choreographed dance began to take energetic life … It left the audience cheering for more.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“In every city the reaction is the same. The participants and the audience experience the same excitement and emotions… People somehow reconnect with the city they live in.” Sylvain Émard

The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an even larger spectacle of dance.

A joyously big line dance by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard, Le Grand Continental ® wowed audiences during its run at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has garnered enthusiastic response across the world — from New York to Mexico City to Wellington, New Zealand. 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.

Performed by a diverse cast of 200 Philadelphians from all ages and dance backgrounds, the expanded Le Super Grand Continental brings whole new choreography to a festive—and FREE—dance extravaganza at one of the city’s most iconic locations. After each performance, the crowd is invited to join the dancers as the performance area becomes a huge open-air dance floor.

FREE

Choreography Sylvain Émard Sound Design Martin Tétreault, Michael Kiley Lighting Design Dom Chacon Rehearsal Director and Dancer Sarah Gladwin Camp Stage Manager Jessica DeStefano Assistant Stage Manager Samantha Dugan Technical Director Scott Halstead Soundman Row Walters Rehearsal Assistants and Dancers Sanchel Brown, Edgardo Colon, Amalia Colon-Nava, Bethany Formica, Nick Jonczak, Rhonda Moore, Gabrielle Revlock DJ Emcee Elroy

Amateur Dancers Abigail Schnapf, Alec Chupik, Alexa (Sasha) Radtke, Alexa Asher, Alice Allsopp, Amy Lalime, Ana Radonjic, Angeles Gonzalez-Prado, Anita Nicholson, Ann Ehrich, Archelle Weston, Arianna Rom, Ashli Talley, Aubreya Lewis, Axel Bauriedel, Béla Levin-dorko, Bella Gibson, Bellisant Corcoran-Mathe, Beverly Agard, Bobbi Block, Bonnie MacMillan, Caraya Harris, Carol Purfield, Cassie Myers, Cat Aboudara, Catherine M Schmitt, Cecily Alexandria Chapman, Cherese Verdi, Christina Staab, Christine Mantey, Claire Shoyer, Claudia Levin-Dorko, Clifford Schwinger, Colana Tymes, Connor Harrison, Curita C Goode, David Calloway, David Chin, Debbie DiGiacobbe, Debbie Gerbec, Deborah Schuman, Deirdre Miller, Delaney McKeon, Ed Nace, Eileen Fisher, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, Ellen Dunkel, Emalyn Staab, Emma Bedoukian, Erica Wexler, Felice Schwartz, Frances Bartlett, Francie Woodford, Gianna Lerro, Grisel Garate, Helen Burke, Hydie Miller, Inda Hennessy, Isabella Greenfield, Jackie McLaughlin, Jae Hennessy, Jai Wexler, James Lemma Jr., Jane McDaniel, Jane Piecuch, Janet Pinkerton, Janis Moore Campbell, Jarmel Reitz, Jasmine Smith, Jeff Bullard, Jen Marvelous, Jenna McLaughlin, Jennifer E Greenfield, Jennifer Huth, John Kearney, Joseph Fong, Jude Robison, Judie Christiansen, Judy MacMillan, Judy Williams, Justine Sefcik, Kariann Heslop, Kate Spellissy, Kate Tejada, Katelyn Baron, Katherine Mui, Katherine Wohlsen, Kathryn Yumiko Kono, Katie Scheuer, Kecia Fong, Kelly Farrelly, Ken Warren, Kylin Mettler, Laila Michelle Clark, Laura Naden, Laura Paoloni, Lauren Brown, Lauren Bryant, Lauren Fanslau, Leeia Ferguson, Leila Cohen, Lid Reilly, Lilly McGonigle, Lindsey Clutter, Lindsey Huster, Lisa Marie Renk, Lisle Hummerston, Liz Baldwin, Liz Clark, Louisiane Verger, Luke Beauregard, Luz Rivera, Maci Brielle Haggerty, Madeline Winters, Margarette Mongeau, Mark Thompson, Mary Madden, Maura Sutherland, Max Vasapoli, Megan Meiris, Michael LaMonaca, Michele Stulman, Mike Healy, Nancy Frey, Nancy G Heller, Nancy Kelleher, Nancy Nieves, Nani Manion, Nani Shin, Natalie Margasak, Nicola Ingram, Nijah Famous, Nina Angela McKissock, Nina Giacobbe, Nina Sherak, Oskar Bauriedel, Patty Bulack, Pierie Korostoff, Rachel Crowley, Rachel Dumka, Rachel Weisberg, Rebecca Godofsky, Regan Buker, Rejoice Jula, Renee Kalandar, Rhoda Williams, Rosanne Sarkissian, Samantha Jeune, Sarah Greenblatt, Sebastian Hamilton, Selene Platt, Senaka Peter, Shayla Abdul-Wali, Sheri Utain, Sheryl Hand, Signe Spragins, Sogol Shirazi, Sonja Bekken, Sophia Abraham-Raveson, Sophia Levin, Stephanie Seymour, Taylor Frome, Tina Heuges, Tracia Smith, Virginia Hedges, Yelena Zeng, Yolanda Moran, Zakiyyah Muhammad, Zanna Yoshida, Zoey Bonfante

Photos (featured, Montreal 2017) Robert Etcheverry (above, Philadelphia 2012) Maya Daoud (below, Boston 2014) Robert Torres
Lead support for Le Super Grand Continental was provided by William Penn Foundation.

 

Le Super Grand Continental is a Sylvain Émard Danse and Festival TransAmériques co-production.

Additional support provided by Québec Government Office in New York.

 

Le Super Grand Continental is part of the SPARK: Fringe For Young Audiences series of family friendly programming. The SPARK series is made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund.

 

Festival Producers: Salem Shuchman & Barbara Klock
Festival Executive Producers: The Rotunda


About Sylvain Émard

Sylvain Émard danced for choreographers such as Jean-Pierre Perreault, Louise Bédard and Jo Lechay, before founding his own company Sylvain Émard Danse in 1990. His repertoire of more than 30 unique pieces has been critically praised at home and abroad. A recipient of numerous awards, Sylvain Émard often works as a guest choreographer in theater, opera, and film.


FringeArts interview with Sylvain Émard

May 2018

FringeArts: What inspired the first Le Grand Continental ®?

Sylvain Émard: As a kid, the first time I danced outside my home was at our church basement where there were line-dancing classes. Maybe that is why I was and still am fascinated by line dancing. To a point where I was often incorporating it (a bit more sophisticated I must say) in my stage work.  Then I came up with this idea of choreographing a dance piece that would mix contemporary dance and line dancing. At first I thought that this would just appeal to Montrealers because of the great popularity of line dancing here. To my surprise, I realized that although line dancing is not that popular everywhere, there is a desire for the people to get involved in an artistic project and dance is perfect for that. It has no language limitation. It is somehow universal despite the specificity of the style.

FringeArts: What do you remember about your show in Philadelphia in 2012?

Sylvain Émard: I have great memories of the performances in Philly. We had a fantastic group of participants and a great team of professionals. Very committed and enthusiastic. I remember it was raining on our first evening show but for the cast there was no question of cancelling the show. We waited a bit for the rain to calm down and danced in the rain. It was magic. For this coming edition we are expecting some dancers from the 2012 edition to take part again this year. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

FringeArts: What will be different about this show?

Sylvain Émard: It will be a whole new version, except for the Philly Soul section that was especially created for the city in 2012 and that I will keep in this year’s show.

FringeArts: How do different audiences react in different cities?

Sylvain Émard: In every city the reaction is the same. No matter the culture, the participants and the audience experience the same excitement and emotions. There is an obvious sense of pride to achieve such a challenge. People somehow reconnect with the city they live in.

Excerpt. Full interview coming soon to the FringeArts Blog.


Further Reading

Everyone’s Dancing in “Le Grand Continental” by Jonathan Stein, thINKingDANCE

Excerpt:
Continental is Whitmanesque in its passionate inclusiveness. It joyfully welds social dance and popular music with a witty, sophisticated contemporary dance consciousness.

Read the full article


Le Super Grand Continental

Posted September 8th, 2018
DescriptionAbout the ArtistInterviewFurther ReadingVideo

“The roar from hundreds of spectators went from loud to deafening as the choreographed dance began to take energetic life … It left the audience cheering for more.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“In every city the reaction is the same. The participants and the audience experience the same excitement and emotions… People somehow reconnect with the city they live in.” Sylvain Émard

The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an even larger spectacle of dance.

A joyously big line dance by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard, Le Grand Continental ® wowed audiences during its run at the 2012 Fringe Festival and has garnered enthusiastic response across the world — from New York to Mexico City to Wellington, New Zealand. 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.

Performed by a diverse cast of 200 Philadelphians from all ages and dance backgrounds, the expanded Le Super Grand Continental brings whole new choreography to a festive—and FREE—dance extravaganza at one of the city’s most iconic locations. After each performance, the crowd is invited to join the dancers as the performance area becomes a huge open-air dance floor.

FREE

Choreography Sylvain Émard Sound Design Martin Tétreault, Michael Kiley Lighting Design Dom Chacon Rehearsal Director and Dancer Sarah Gladwin Camp Stage Manager Jessica DeStefano Assistant Stage Manager Samantha Dugan Technical Director Scott Halstead Soundman Row Walters Rehearsal Assistants and Dancers Sanchel Brown, Edgardo Colon, Amalia Colon-Nava, Bethany Formica, Nick Jonczak, Rhonda Moore, Gabrielle Revlock DJ Emcee Elroy

Amateur Dancers Abigail Schnapf, Alec Chupik, Alexa (Sasha) Radtke, Alexa Asher, Alice Allsopp, Amy Lalime, Ana Radonjic, Angeles Gonzalez-Prado, Anita Nicholson, Ann Ehrich, Archelle Weston, Arianna Rom, Ashli Talley, Aubreya Lewis, Axel Bauriedel, Béla Levin-dorko, Bella Gibson, Bellisant Corcoran-Mathe, Beverly Agard, Bobbi Block, Bonnie MacMillan, Caraya Harris, Carol Purfield, Cassie Myers, Cat Aboudara, Catherine M Schmitt, Cecily Alexandria Chapman, Cherese Verdi, Christina Staab, Christine Mantey, Claire Shoyer, Claudia Levin-Dorko, Clifford Schwinger, Colana Tymes, Connor Harrison, Curita C Goode, David Calloway, David Chin, Debbie DiGiacobbe, Debbie Gerbec, Deborah Schuman, Deirdre Miller, Delaney McKeon, Ed Nace, Eileen Fisher, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, Ellen Dunkel, Emalyn Staab, Emma Bedoukian, Erica Wexler, Felice Schwartz, Frances Bartlett, Francie Woodford, Gianna Lerro, Grisel Garate, Helen Burke, Hydie Miller, Inda Hennessy, Isabella Greenfield, Jackie McLaughlin, Jae Hennessy, Jai Wexler, James Lemma Jr., Jane McDaniel, Jane Piecuch, Janet Pinkerton, Janis Moore Campbell, Jarmel Reitz, Jasmine Smith, Jeff Bullard, Jen Marvelous, Jenna McLaughlin, Jennifer E Greenfield, Jennifer Huth, John Kearney, Joseph Fong, Jude Robison, Judie Christiansen, Judy MacMillan, Judy Williams, Justine Sefcik, Kariann Heslop, Kate Spellissy, Kate Tejada, Katelyn Baron, Katherine Mui, Katherine Wohlsen, Kathryn Yumiko Kono, Katie Scheuer, Kecia Fong, Kelly Farrelly, Ken Warren, Kylin Mettler, Laila Michelle Clark, Laura Naden, Laura Paoloni, Lauren Brown, Lauren Bryant, Lauren Fanslau, Leeia Ferguson, Leila Cohen, Lid Reilly, Lilly McGonigle, Lindsey Clutter, Lindsey Huster, Lisa Marie Renk, Lisle Hummerston, Liz Baldwin, Liz Clark, Louisiane Verger, Luke Beauregard, Luz Rivera, Maci Brielle Haggerty, Madeline Winters, Margarette Mongeau, Mark Thompson, Mary Madden, Maura Sutherland, Max Vasapoli, Megan Meiris, Michael LaMonaca, Michele Stulman, Mike Healy, Nancy Frey, Nancy G Heller, Nancy Kelleher, Nancy Nieves, Nani Manion, Nani Shin, Natalie Margasak, Nicola Ingram, Nijah Famous, Nina Angela McKissock, Nina Giacobbe, Nina Sherak, Oskar Bauriedel, Patty Bulack, Pierie Korostoff, Rachel Crowley, Rachel Dumka, Rachel Weisberg, Rebecca Godofsky, Regan Buker, Rejoice Jula, Renee Kalandar, Rhoda Williams, Rosanne Sarkissian, Samantha Jeune, Sarah Greenblatt, Sebastian Hamilton, Selene Platt, Senaka Peter, Shayla Abdul-Wali, Sheri Utain, Sheryl Hand, Signe Spragins, Sogol Shirazi, Sonja Bekken, Sophia Abraham-Raveson, Sophia Levin, Stephanie Seymour, Taylor Frome, Tina Heuges, Tracia Smith, Virginia Hedges, Yelena Zeng, Yolanda Moran, Zakiyyah Muhammad, Zanna Yoshida, Zoey Bonfante

Photos (featured, Montreal 2017) Robert Etcheverry (above, Philadelphia 2012) Maya Daoud (below, Boston 2014) Robert Torres
Lead support for Le Super Grand Continental was provided by William Penn Foundation.

 

Le Super Grand Continental is a Sylvain Émard Danse and Festival TransAmériques co-production.

Additional support provided by Québec Government Office in New York.

 

Le Super Grand Continental is part of the SPARK: Fringe For Young Audiences series of family friendly programming. The SPARK series is made possible by a leadership gift from the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund.

 

Festival Producers: Salem Shuchman & Barbara Klock
Festival Executive Producers: The Rotunda


About Sylvain Émard

Sylvain Émard danced for choreographers such as Jean-Pierre Perreault, Louise Bédard and Jo Lechay, before founding his own company Sylvain Émard Danse in 1990. His repertoire of more than 30 unique pieces has been critically praised at home and abroad. A recipient of numerous awards, Sylvain Émard often works as a guest choreographer in theater, opera, and film.


FringeArts interview with Sylvain Émard

May 2018

FringeArts: What inspired the first Le Grand Continental ®?

Sylvain Émard: As a kid, the first time I danced outside my home was at our church basement where there were line-dancing classes. Maybe that is why I was and still am fascinated by line dancing. To a point where I was often incorporating it (a bit more sophisticated I must say) in my stage work.  Then I came up with this idea of choreographing a dance piece that would mix contemporary dance and line dancing. At first I thought that this would just appeal to Montrealers because of the great popularity of line dancing here. To my surprise, I realized that although line dancing is not that popular everywhere, there is a desire for the people to get involved in an artistic project and dance is perfect for that. It has no language limitation. It is somehow universal despite the specificity of the style.

FringeArts: What do you remember about your show in Philadelphia in 2012?

Sylvain Émard: I have great memories of the performances in Philly. We had a fantastic group of participants and a great team of professionals. Very committed and enthusiastic. I remember it was raining on our first evening show but for the cast there was no question of cancelling the show. We waited a bit for the rain to calm down and danced in the rain. It was magic. For this coming edition we are expecting some dancers from the 2012 edition to take part again this year. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

FringeArts: What will be different about this show?

Sylvain Émard: It will be a whole new version, except for the Philly Soul section that was especially created for the city in 2012 and that I will keep in this year’s show.

FringeArts: How do different audiences react in different cities?

Sylvain Émard: In every city the reaction is the same. No matter the culture, the participants and the audience experience the same excitement and emotions. There is an obvious sense of pride to achieve such a challenge. People somehow reconnect with the city they live in.

Excerpt. Full interview coming soon to the FringeArts Blog.


Further Reading

Everyone’s Dancing in “Le Grand Continental” by Jonathan Stein, thINKingDANCE

Excerpt:
Continental is Whitmanesque in its passionate inclusiveness. It joyfully welds social dance and popular music with a witty, sophisticated contemporary dance consciousness.

Read the full article


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

  1. ear whispered

    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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2018 Festival Spotlight: FREE Fringe (part two)

Posted August 30th, 2018

You can Fringe! Everyone can Fringe. In addition to our full slate of free digital offerings, this year’s Festival features nearly twenty shows—curated and independently produced—that are free or pay what you want, leaving the door to contemporary performance art open to all. We previewed a batch of these shows yesterday. Here are some more!

Le Super Grand Continental
Sylvain Émard
The world’s most infectious performance event returns to the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an even larger spectacle of dance. 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.
More info and tickets here

Love Stories
Denise McCormack
Master storyteller Denise McCormack brings to life literary and traditional tales to capture the essence of women’s issues and issues of the heart. This one-woman stand-up sparks a flood of emotions and memories, as it revisits secret and soulful nuances of motherhood, childhood, family, and life—the dynamics of love. Intended for adults.
More info and tickets here

One Hundred Abstracts
Katharine Goodall
This is an exhibition of paintings displayed in various locations throughout the city. For a list of locations where the paintings are exhibited, please visit katharinegoodall.com.
More info and tickets here

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2018 Festival Spotlight: Family Friendly Fringe

Posted August 24th, 2018

The Fringe isn’t always adults only! Everyone is welcome at these fun, engaging performances suitable for the whole family.

Chichi Chip (an ode to the Gnarly)
Philly Kerplop
An interactive performance featuring hip-hop dance and a live marching band, taking place in Philly’s iconic LOVE Park. Philly Kerplop’s display of humor and daring physical dexterity will activate the park spaces in ways that feel both familiar and awe-inspiring.
More info and tickets here

FIGMAGO
Meg Saligman Studio
FIGMAGO is part art installation, part room escape, and all parts wonderfully immersive. Enter the mind of a muralist as you explore secret passages and mesmerizing art to discover a mysterious mural that comes to life. YOU become the artist as the story unfolds. Hands-on and phone-free fun for all ages!
More info and tickets here

Garden of Vessels
Sina Marie (I Am a Vessel Youth Initiative)
Welcome to the future of the pop-up garden phenomenon. Imagine a garden where imagination and technology fall in love, cultivating the minds and innate abilities of the youth to a full bloom. Visionary Sina Marie creates an interactive experience. A diaspora from the underground up! We welcome you to…the Garden of Vessels.
More info and tickets here

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A Super Grand Interview with Sylvain Émard

Posted August 22nd, 2018

Renowned dancer and choreographer Sylvain Émard’s infectious fusion of traditional line dancing and contemporary dance, Le Grand Continental ®, has been presented at locations around the world, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, South Korea, New Zealand, and Chile. After presenting his show in the 2012 Fringe Festival, Émard is back in Philadelphia with Le Super Grand Continental, an even bigger public dance spectacle.

Presented as part of the 2018 Fringe Festival, Le Super Grand Continental will see a cast of 200 non-professional dancers take over the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, performing all new choreography and eventually inviting the audience to join them as the performance space becomes an open-air dance party. FringeArts talked to Émard about the inspiration for the show, his memories of the 2012 Fringe Festival, and what we should expect this year.

FringeArts: What inspired the first Le Grand Continental®?

Sylvain Émard: As a kid, the first time I danced outside my home was at our church basement where there were line-dancing classes. Maybe that is why I was and still am fascinated by line dancing. To a point where I was often incorporating it (a bit more sophisticated I must say) in my stage work. Then I came up with this idea of choreographing a dance piece that would mix contemporary dance and line dancing. At first I thought that this would just appeal to Montréalers because of the great popularity of line dancing here. To my surprise, I realized that although line dancing is not that popular everywhere, there is a desire for the people to get involved in an artistic project and dance is perfect for that. It has no language limitation. It is somehow universal despite the specificity of the style.

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How Are You FEELing?

Posted August 18th, 2018

The Fringe wouldn’t be the Fringe without Bobbi Block. The artist and producer has been in EVERY SINGLE Fringe Festival since its foundation in 1997. This year, Block adds two more shows to her impressive Fringe resume: she’s dancing in Sylvain Emard’s Le Super Grand Continental on the Art Museum steps and producing another sure-to-be-a-hit improv theater piece by Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater.  

In FEEL, T&G is asking audiences “How are you feeling” and really wanting to know: they will improvise a show based on the feelings of the audience. To put the audience at ease, they’re offering free massages before every show. Now that feels good!

FringeArts asked Block how she was feeling, and other questions about her upcoming Fringe shows.

FringeArts: How are you feeling today and why?

Bobbi Block: Today? Today I’m feeling joyful and optimistic about my current artistic endeavors. You?

FringeArts: Oh, FringeArts Blog is doing just fine. Why ask audiences that question?

Bobbi Block: Well, first I’ll explain why Tongue & Groove asks that question of each other. For eleven years now, T & G begins every rehearsal and performance with an “Emotional Check-in”—we report how we’re feeling. This accomplishes two goals: 1. It “stirs the pot” of emotional fodder so that real feelings are readily available for us to use as inspiration for our improvised characters and scenarios, and 2. Sharing feelings is vulnerable, and vulnerability and transparency builds trust.

So why ask the audience? We’ve asked the audience so many questions over the years: “What secret are you keeping?” “What do you want to do before you die?” “Who are you?” The answers are written anonymously on cards and used to inspire our improvised work. We figured it was time to ask the most basic question—and possibly most difficult to answer. Most people do not get a lot of practice exercising emotional literacy. We are socialized not to talk about our real feelings—and we assume no one really wants to know. Rarely does someone ask “How are you feeling?” (unless you’re ill); we ask “How are you?” or “How ya doin?” The typical answer is “Fine,” and then we quickly move on, thinking we’ve satisfied our social connection obligation. Even if we’re craving to connect with each other, many of us follow this social norm because we’re afraid to speak the truth.

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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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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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