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Events The Philadelphia Matter - 1972/2020

The Philadelphia Matter – 1972/2020

David Gordon

September 10-October 4

2020 Fringe Festival

60 minutes

Free – $50


Celebrated choreographer/director/writer David Gordon premieres his first new screen work in two decades with a “virtual” performance company of 30+ Philadelphia artists working remotely to record video material on everything from iPhones to professional cameras. Gordon then dissected, assembled, and collaged this movement with visual scores and archival works in collaboration with video artist Jorge Cousineau. The Philadelphia Matter – 1972/2020 cast includes Wally Cardona and Pick Up Performance Co(s) members Karen Graham and Valda Setterfield. 

The final composition premieres the first night of the 2020 Fringe Festival and will stream online for the duration of the fest.

There will also be two contextual talks with artists and collaborators on Saturdays, Sept 19 and Sept 26 at 3pm. More information under Contextual Programming below, and RSVP via the Get Tickets banner.

Philadelphia Virtual Company: Mehgan Abdel-Moneim, Megan Bridge, Marie Brown, Sanchel Brown, Eun Jung Choi, Amalia Colón-Nava, Sydney Donovan, Bethany Formica, Beau Hancock, Nile Harris, Justin Jain, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Jungeun Kim, Megan Mazarick, Lucas Mikan, Rhonda Moore, Guillermo Ortega, Rebecca Patek, Dawn Pratson, Lauren Putty White, Gabrielle Revlock, Nick Schwasman, Margot Electra Steinberg, Katie Vickers, November Ward, and Jacinta Lee Yelland.


Ticketed Live Premiere: Thursday, Sept 10 at 7pm Available to access online for free during the Festival following premiere Contextual Talk: Saturday, Sept 19 at 3pm Contextual Talk: Saturday, Sept 26 at 3pm


Pay What You Can sliding scale $5-50 for Live Premiere
Free to watch online after premiere

About the Artists

Founding artist of Judson Church performances and improvisational Grand Union, David Gordon purposefully examines/expands/torpedoes conventional lines between theater and dance, pioneering use of text and textual narrative in movement work. He presaged his later writing and directing for the stage and predated the live theater form that became known as “performance art.” Gordon’s dual status as theater and movement artist was acknowledged when he was awarded a Pew Charitable Trust National Dance Residency grant and a National Theater Residency grant in successive years.
In the last decade he has received 3 NEA American Masterpiece Grant Awards and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. His numerous commissions include Actors Studio, American Ballet Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, BBC, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York Theatre Workshop, PBS Great Performances, and Serious Fun @ Lincoln Center. Founding Director of Pick Up Performance Co(s) since 1978.

Contextual Programming

Saturday, September 19 at 3pm
Christ Church Preservation Trust Executive Director Barbara Hogue moderates a conversation about the making of The Philadelphia Matter – 1972/2020. In dialogue with David Gordon and collaborators including Wally Cardona, Jorge Cousineau, Alyce Dissette, and Sarah Gladwin-Camp participants will describe the working process for this new work created using remote technology in the midst of a global pandemic.

Saturday, September 26 at 3pm
FringeArts Artistic Producer Katy Dammers moderates a conversation about the layered nature of David Gordon’s artistic practice. Together with archivist Patsy Gay, artist Valda Setterfield, and writer Suzanne Carbonneau the discussion will consider how Gordon’s piece The Matter has functioned as an archive for his practice.

RSVP for talkback events via the Get Tickets link.

Watch the recordings of the Contextual Programming below:


The Philadelphia Matter – 1972/2020 is commissioned by Christ Church Neighborhood House, produced in collaboration with Pick Up Performance Co(s), and co-presented by the Neighborhood House. Major support for The Philadelphia Matter – 1972/2020 has been provided to Christ Church Preservation Trust by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Festival Co-Producers: Christopher and Lee van de Velde; Jane Pepper; Lynne & Bertram Strieb; Sissie and Herb Lipton

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