In the News: Performance Projects from Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College, Iquail Shaheed, and Theatre Exile

1/4: Chopin Without Piano, produced by Centrala, Warsaw, conceived and written by Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka, directed by Michał Zadara. Chopin performed by Barbara Wysocka. Photo by Natalia Kabanow. Courtesy of Swarthmore College.
2/4: Figure 8, performed by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Photo © Thibault Gregoire, 2013.
3/4: Dance Iquail. Photo by Rachel Neville. Pictured: Iquail Shaheed and Allison Sale.
4/4: Scott Greer as Frank Rizzo. Photo courtesy of Robert Hakalski.

A number of ongoing and recently completed Center-funded projects have filled theater houses and garnered extensive media coverage.

After being included in The New York Timesseason highlights, Bryn Mawr College’s ongoing, year-long retrospective Trisha Brown: In the New Body was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer. In describing Brown’s Proscenium Works (1979-2011), The Inquirer wrote that the works enable audiences to “stretch forward and backward, and, much like Brown’s innovations, extend our upward grasp.” Dance Magazine remarked that “even today, Trisha Brown’s rule-breaking experiments in weight, gravity, and coordination reveal new layers of complexity with each viewing.”

Read more about Trisha Brown: In the New Body in WHYY and The Dance Journal.

Swarthmore College’s North American premiere of Chopin Without Piano revealed unique insights into Fryderyk Chopin as both a historical figure and a masterful composer, with performances at Swarthmore’s Lang Concert Hall and at FringeArts in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer applauded the production for being “a very contemporized rendition of all-too-familiar Romantic music,” while Phindie called the performance “radically original.” Broad Street Review raved that “the overall effect of the performance was highly stimulating, as [Barbara] Wysocka revealed a vivid sense of history and also a deep love for the music of Chopin.”

Read more about Chopin Without Piano in The Dance Journal and Swarthmore College Daily Gazette.

Iquail Shaheed’s dance-theater work Pushers, which examines the consequences of addiction through the perspectives of teens from Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood, premiered at the Painted Bride Art Center. In an interview, The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed Shaheed’s conclusion that “social-media-addicted teens…are hooked, above all, on validation. The dance he developed explores manifestations of that.” Broad Street Review wrote of Shaheed, “what he’s discovered through this process is that addiction is about fear of loneliness.”

Theatre Exile’s Rizzo, written by Pew Fellow Bruce Graham (1993) and recently on stage at Christ Church Neighborhood House, dramatized the story of the controversial political figure Frank Rizzo as he prepares for his 1991 mayoral campaign. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised Rizzo’s script, writing, “Graham fashions a complex figure, still larger than life,” while Phindie wrote, “the new play approaches the subject with sardonic wit, honesty, and insight, revealing the motivations behind the man who shaped the city’s history.” Planning and development of Rizzo was supported by a 2013 Center grant.

Read more about Rizzo in Philadelphia Daily News, WHYY, and Chestnut Hill Local.

Stay tuned for more Center news, and discover upcoming performances in our events calendar.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 1982, the Chemical Heritage Foundation fosters an understanding of chemistry’s impact on society.

Grants & Grantees

The 2009–10 season of the Kimmel Center’s series included Philadelphia debuts by Kristjan Järvi conducting the Absolute Ensemble, the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, and more.

During this interactive session with festival educational curator Michelle Heffner Hayes, Ph.D., participants will learn how to view and listen to a traditional flamenco concert.

The fourth iteration of danceworkbook, A Steady Pulse: Restaging Lucinda Childs, 1963–78, is a dynamic reexamination of the early dances of one of America’s most influential contemporary choreographers.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Paul Schimmel was the chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) from 1990 to 2012 and has organized over 50 exhibitions in his career.

Grants & Grantees

Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon will “embed” himself in the Historical Society’s daily functions, in order to reflect on the processes of how history gets documented and preserved.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ruth Estévez is a curator, writer, and stage designer. She is currently gallery director and curator of REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel outlines her research process for her holiday production, A Civil War Christmas.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Sam Miller is the former president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and currently serves on the Board of Amrita in Phnom Penh. He served as a Center dance panelist and LOI panelist in 2013, Pew Fellowships evaluator in 2014, and Pew Fellowships Panel Chair in 2015.

Grants & Grantees

Opera Philadelphia seeks to create productions of classic and new operatic works that assemble the finest international creative artists, and present a wide array of programming that educates, deepens, and diversifies opera audiences.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Director and producer Melanie Joseph is the artistic producer and founder of the Foundry Theatre in New York City.

The Center welcomed choreographer and iLAND founder Jennifer Monson, who moderated our first-ever all-day listening session.