The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage seeks to contribute to the cultivation of an artistically dynamic environment for dance in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region, and to the dialogue that connects all of us in the field of dance arts.
Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble: residency with Ron Brown
On Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Performance Garage in Philadelphia, Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble will give a free public presentation that caps their extended residency with choreographer Ronald K. Brown. This residency, which began last August, has taken Kùlú Mèlé on a journey to examine the company’s understanding how its mission, practice and traditional repertoire can maintain its relevance for audiences attuned to contemporary dance aesthetics. As a dance artist, Brown shares Kùlú Mèlé’s interest in preserving African traditions through a blending with modern and urban styles. During this residency he has worked with Kùlú Mèlé’s Artistic Director Dorothy Wilkie and the dancers and drummers to expand the current repertoire through movement exploration and facilitated internal conversations.
“Can you talk to these young people about using their tradition to make contemporary work? So I feel like that’s what my work here is with Kùlú Mèlé.” —Ron Brown discussing the question, “what is contemporary dance”:
Watch the video interview with Ron Brown discussing his work with Kùlú Mèlé here.
Read Arnecia Patterson's interview with Ron Brown in the Publications and Research, Document(s), Found in translation section of the dance website, here.
Upcoming Pennsylvania Ballet events: Artifact Suite
Performances of Artifact Suite on June 13-16
Symposium on Forsythe's work: Fold, Collapse, and Shift: Ballet and Beyond in the Choreography of William Forsythe on May 30
Photo: Semperoper Ballett in Dresden. Pictured: dancers Oleg Klymuk and Elena Vostrotina. Photo by Costin Radu.
The Pennsylvania Ballet will perform the company premiere of William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, June 13–16, 2013 at the Academy of Music. Artifact Suite joins in the middle, somewhat elevated, and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude as the third work by Forsythe in the company’s repertoire. Forsythe’s signature choreography in Artifact Suite pushes dancers beyond their perceived physical limits, demanding sharp timing, precise syncopation, and coordination.
Fold, Collapse, and Shift: Ballet and Beyond in the Choreography of William Forsythe
Moderated by Dr. Linda Caruso Haviland, director of dance and Alice Carter Dickerman Director of the Arts Program at Bryn Mawr College, William Forsythe will join panelists Freya Vass-Rhee, PhD, dramaturg and production assistant for the Forsythe Company and Jennifer Homans, dance historian and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University, author of "Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet." Like George Balanchine, whose work he greatly admires, William Forsythe has changed the shape, dynamic, and possibilities of classical ballet and the ways in which we see it. This symposium will address what viewers find innovative, exciting, or infuriating in Forsythe’s choreography and the qualities of current work that continue to make him one of the more important and influential choreographers of our time.
Visit our calendar entries here for the performances of Artifact Suite, as well as the symposium and other outreach events that will be held beforehand.
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2013 Grant Recipients in Dance
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has awarded $914,500 to nine dance projects, representing two individual artists, four dance companies, and three presenting organizations in the Philadelphia area. One individual artist is a first-time applicant. For a roster of grantees and descriptions of the projects, please visit the Grants Awarded page.
Grantee events: February 2013
Susan Rethorst: Inquiring Mind/Choreographic Mind performance retrospective
Grantee: Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series
Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series is presenting a residency that investigates the artistic process of choreographer and dancer Susan Rethorst. For more information on upcoming residency events that will include works in progress, master classes, and performances during the weekend of February 22–24, 2013, visit the Bryn Mawr website here.
Read commissioned essays and posts by embedded writers about the project here.
Above: Susan Rethorst © Julieta Cervantes.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company: “Body Against Body”
Grantee: Painted Bride Art Center
From February 21–23, 2013, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will perform Body Against Body at the Painted Bride Art Center. Body Against Body returns to Bill T. Jones’ roots in the avant-garde with a program that revives and reconsiders the challenging, groundbreaking works that launched Jones and the late Arnie Zane, his partner and collaborator of 17 years. Still some of the most significant examples of the postmodern aesthetic, these pieces redefined the duet form and changed the face of American dance. Both conceptually and physically rigorous, the works take on new life through the diverse dancers of Jones’s company, providing a rare look at the origins of a widely acclaimed choreographer.
For more information on the performances and ancillary events of this project, visit our calendar listing and the Painted Bride website. For more information on this project, visit its tumblr site here.
Above: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company © Paul B. Goode.
NEW BLOG ENTRY:
"Ruminations on Process" by Mark Taylor
Reflections on Viji Rao's 2012 Dance Advance project, 3 x 3 Movement Voices for a Bharatanatyam Dancer, in which Mark is involved as an advisor and essayist
Above: Viji Rao. Photo by Satish Vishwanathan.
3 x 3 Movement Voices for a Bharatanatyam Dancer
On Friday, October 19, 2012 at 7 p.m., at the Painted Bride Art Center, Viji Rao presented a showing of three pieces that she has been collaborating on over the past several months to expand upon her artistic roots in South Indian dance. Rao received a planning grant through Dance Advance in 2012 to develop this work through choreographic research with three dance artists from distinct dance traditions: Hari Krishnan, artistic director of INDANCE, Toronto, who specializes in experimental exploration of Bharatanatyam traditions; C.V. Chandrasekhar, one of India’s most highly regarded Bharatanatyam practitioners who creates choreography within the canon of traditional vocabulary; and Delhi’s Santosh Nair, who creates contemporary work based in the generations-old martial art form of Chhau. These three dance artists were at the showing and took part in a discussion about the intersection of the works, facilitated by choreographer and somatic movement educator Mark Taylor.
More information about this event on our calendar listing, here.
New blog entry: Merián Soto on Site, Improvisation, and Embodiment in SoMoS
In this entry, the Center's Visiting Artist Ain Gordon has a conversation with Merián Soto, the director and choreographer of the outdoor dance and multimedia installation event SoMoS whch premiered on Friday, October 13, 2012. This work was the culmination of multiple years of performance research by Soto, and has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. You can read more about their conversation by visiting our blog.
New Publication: Communities of Consciousness and the Begetting of Deborah Hay
"Communities of Consciousness and the Begetting of Deborah Hay" is now available in the Dance Advance section of the Center website, under "Document(s)." The publication of this essay coincides with a series of performances that Hay will be giving from October through December 2012, that are a highlight of the current season of contemporary American dance. She will perform at the Menil Collection in Houston, and at subsequent celebrations of her work at Danspace Project and MoMA in New York City, and at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center. Philadelphia will also be on Hay’s itinerary. In addition to leading a week-long choreographic workshop during her visit, Hay’s visit will culminate in a Deborah Hay Solo Festival at Fidget Space, featuring alumni of the artist’s groundbreaking Solo Performance Commissioning project, to take place November 9–11, 2012.
2013 Guidelines for Dance are available to download here.
Center-funded dance projects: September 2012
Jumatatu Poe's Private Places will premiere at the 2012 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, September 15, 16, and 18–20. Private Places examines notions of order—how we order, categorize, groom, distinguish, fix, and distort ourselves to achieve certain standards of presentation—and the conflation of public and private identities. In addition to the performances, you can also join idiosynCrazy productions for "Privatizing and Publicizing Gender: An Intimate Dialogue into Private Places," a panel on gender identity in J-Sette, as well as for "We Just Gon' Buck," a "mini-ball" event that will celebrate underground dance styles such as Vogue, J-Sette, and Bucking dance with superstars from Philadelphia and around the country.
Also at the Live Arts Festival is This Town Is a Mystery, Headlong Dance Theater’s latest work, which combines local dinner and performance in four different Philadelphia homes. Blending stories of the neighborhood, the household, and their lives, Headlong worked with the residents of each household to develop these unique choreographies, which will be performed by the residents in their own homes. Afterwards the audience and performers will eat dinner together.
Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble’s newly commissioned work from contemporary choreographer Mark Morris, set to French composer Camille Saint-Saën's Carnival of the Animals, is slated to be presented by Bryn Mawr College on September 14, 2012. This concert will highlight Voloshky's live orchestra and 35 dancers from the Ukraine and U.S. For ticket information, click here.
Honoring the passing of Hedy Kaufmann Tower
Hedy Tower passed away on July 5, 2012 at the age of 99. Tower taught modern dance and movement in her Jenkintown, PA studio for 60 years before retiring and moving to Cathedral Village in Philadelphia, where she continued to teach dance to the residents as well as community members and a handful of students from her Jenkintown studio who wished to continue studying with her. Over time, she taught countless young dancers dance technique and improvisation and her influences as a teacher ran deep. Please take a moment to read the obituary, published in the Montgomery News on July 17, which you may view at Legacy.com. Also of note: from the Chestnut Hill Local, September 30, 2010, "Nazi Germany escapee, now 97, dancing up a storm Still teaching students in Hill area," by Jane Lenel.
You may also read "Expressive Roots," an article by Rita Felciano on Group Motion’s (Manfred Fischbeck, Hellmut Gottschild, and Brigitta Herrmann) arrival in Philadelphia from Germany in the 1960s which is published in the Document(s) section of this website. Tower was a graduate of Mary Wigman’s school in Dresden, as were Gottschild and Herrmann, and her presence in Philadelphia helped to cushion their arrival. (See page five for specific reference to Tower.)
On our Blog:
"Method reverse : Cultivating the discipline of not knowing," reflections on a visit to Nichole Canuso’s studio to observe her work with Wendy Houstoun during her planning project, Directing My Dancers/Directing Myself.
Left to right: Nichole Canuso and Wendy Houstoun in the Live Arts Studio
On our website:
"Capturing the Tone, Celebrating the Work," a conversation between choreographers Wendy Rogers and Sara Rudner. This article is located in the Publications & Research section of the Dance Advance website, under "Document(s)/ Dance Odyssey."
This conversation took place on September 29, 2007 at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Rogers and Rudner discussed their collaborative work from the 1970s, and ruminated on how the intersection of life and art gave value to their dancing identities.
"When I see people dancing and they’re realizing who they are, it’s like the best gift in the world."
—Sara Rudner, page 23
"I think what we both like is really stellar ways of not knowing what we’re doing."
—Wendy Rogers, page 4
Read the full article here.
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Announces 2012 Dance Advance Grant Recipients
Philadelphia, PA—The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has awarded $812,000 through Dance Advance to 12 dance projects, representing seven individual artists, three dance companies, and two presenting organizations in the Philadelphia area. Two individual artists are first-time grantees; one is a first-time applicant. These projects demonstrate the Philadelphia dance community’s interest in revisiting seminal works by groundbreaking choreographers, commissioning new pieces that involve dynamic and potentially transformative collaborations between traditional and contemporary practitioners, and exploring social issues and cultural identity.
Recent events: Philadelphia's first Flamenco Festival-March 19-April 1, 2012 -produced by Pasión y Arte, a Philadelphia-based flamenco company
This two-week festival featured the world premiere of a new work by internationally renowned Spanish dancer and choreographer, Rosario Toledo. Cómplices is a group work that was commissioned for Pasión y Arte (PyA). Also on the program was the U.S. premiere of Del primer paso, which was performed by Toledo's company from Spain. Performances featured live music by composer and guitarist Dani de Morón. Along with performances, the festival includes several free events including a movie night, symposium, and master classes at area universities. To find out more about festival events and to get tickets, click here.
To find out more about the PyA company and their process of learning this commissioned work with Toledo over the last several months, click here.
Recent events at Bryn Mawr College: Remounting of John Jasperse's Fort Blossom on February 24-26, 2012, preceded by a week-long residency of the Jasperse Company at the college
Fort Blossom, a challenging but gorgeous work, has only been performed four times previously. The central themes of Jasperse’s ongoing works are alive in this former “research piece.”
“The contrasts in Fort Blossom are dazzling: black and white, color and neutral tones, men and women, nakedness and body coverings, intimacy in bloom and tough, blocky structures. Fort Blossom is more austere than Excessories [Jasperse’s 1995 breakout work], but no less brave, no less exquisite.” Deborah Jowitt,—Village Voice
This production includes nudity and sexual content.
More about the John Jasperse Company's residency here
Two dance writing announcements:
1. Brenda Dixon Gottschild's book on PHILADANCO's founder, Joan Myers Brown and the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: a Biohistory of American Performance, was released on January 3, 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan.
"Dixon Gottschild deftly uses Brown's career as the fulcrum to leverage an exploration of the connection between performance, society, and race—beginning with Brown's predecessors in the 1920s—and a concert dance tradition that has had no previous voice to tell its story from the inside out."(Excerpts from book description on Palgrave Macmillan website.)
Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Professor Emerita of Dance Studies at Temple University, received a 2011 grant from Dance Advance to support her research and publication of this book. You can find out more about her background and other publications at her website.
To learn more about this book and to order it online, click here.
2. Article about Danny Yung has been recently posted in Publications & Research, Document(s), Dance Odyssey, on the Dance Advance website.
This article consists of an interview of Danny Yung, Artistic Director of Zuni Icosahedron, by writer and arts specialist Suzanne Carbonneau. Bill Bissell, Director of Dance Advance, wrote the introduction to this interview.
"His [Yung's] notion that cultural policy is not something that comes from the top down, but is something artists should be creating from the ground up, was particularly relevant. He was seeing artists as agents for change." —Suzanne Carbonneau (excerpt from the interview)
Read the recently posted article here.
Two recently completed dance residences:
1. Peggy Baker
A. Two weeks of master classes with Peggy Baker
November 28 to December 9, 2011
These classes will be offered daily from 10 a.m. to noon, to professionally committed dancers, free of charge, and pre-registration is necessary. For more information on the classes, click here.
B. Free public showing of Work(s) on View²
December 9, 2011
This two-week residency period with Peggy Baker will end with an informal showing on December 9, entitled Work(s) on View² of choreographic sketches by Peggy Baker. Work(s) on View² will be performed by Philadelphia dancers Bethany Formica, Greg Holt, and Shannon Murphy.
For more information on the showing, click here.
Please reserve your spot for both events by contacting Lucy Warrington at Dance Advance: phone: 267.350.4970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Lucinda Childs and Ty Boomershine
A. Three weeks of master classes with Ty Boomershine
October 24 to November 11, 2011
Ty Boomershine will offer three weeks of free, daily master classes in contemporary modern technique to Philadelphia-area dancers on Monday through Friday, October 24 to November 11, 2011.
For more information on the master classes, click here.
B. A showing of Interior Drama and Melody Excerpt choreographed by Lucinda Childs
November 11, 2011
These three weeks will culminate with a showing on November 11, entitled Work(s) on View, of two 1977 works by Lucinda Childs: Interior Drama and Melody Excerpt. This showing will be book-ended by introductory comments 1977: a year of some minimal importance in New York City and a post-performance conversation led by dance writer and critic Marcia B. Siegel. Work(s) on View will be performed by Philadelphia dancers Megan Bridge, Marie Brown, Bethany Formica, Nora Gibson, and Annie Wilson.
For more information on the showing, click here.
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has released the Application Guidelines for the 2012 funding cycle of Dance Advance. Guidelines are available to download here.
The deadline for final applications for the 2012 Project Grant Cycle has now passed.
Above: Carmela Greco at the 2010 Latin Roots & Rhythms Festival presented by Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas, Inc. The second annual 2011 Latin Roots & Rhythms Festival will take place June 24–26, 2011 at the Settlement Music School on 416 Queen St in Philadelphia. Featured main stage performers are Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble, Pasión y Arte, Flamenco Olé, Casa de Venezuela, Raíces de Borinquen/Familia Rojas and KanKouran West African Dance Company. Both the 2010 and 2011 Latin Roots & Rhythms Festivals were made possible by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance. Photo by Alejandro Garcia Jimenez.