On Stage This Summer: Pennsylvania Ballet Performs Trisha Brown Work, Prism Quartet Collaborates with Partch Ensemble, and More

1/5: Scenes from the Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Tempest featuring puppets designed, constructed, and choreographed by Janni Younge. Courtesy of the Mann Center.
2/5: Martha McDonald performs “Songs of Memory and Forgetting” as part of RAIR: Live at the Dump. Photo by Mike Persico.
3/5: The PRISM Quartet. Photo by Jon Rohrer.
4/5: Leaning Duets, performed by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Photo © Thibault Gregoire, 2013.
5/5: The Crossing performs John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Holy Wind at the Crane Arts Center Icebox. Photo by Rebecca Oehlers.

A number of Center-supported performances take the stage this summer, including Pennsylvania Ballet’s presentation of Trisha Brown’s O zlozony/O composite, presented by Bryn Mawr College, seven new musical commissions by The Crossing, and the world premiere of Pablo Batista’s music and dance production El Viaje (The Journey). See our highlights below, and visit our events page to discover more upcoming projects and programs.

Martha McDonald performs “Songs of Memory and Forgetting” as part of RAIR: Live at the Dump. Photo by Mike Persico.

Color Theory
June 1-11

PRISM Quartet investigates the concept of “musical color” through a series of workshops, performances, and collaborations. Partnering with the Brooklyn-based group Sō Percussion (June 4), and Partch (June 11), an ensemble devoted to American composer Henry Partch, PRISM will present two concerts featuring new commissions that pair the saxophone with a wide range of percussion instruments.

Live at the Dump: Songs of Memory and Forgetting
June 5 and 12

RAIR (Recycled Artist In Residency) presents Martha McDonald’s site-specific installation and performances at Northeast Philadelphia’s Revolution Recovery recycling facility and artist space. While playing original music on repurposed instruments, McDonald will lead audiences through an interpretive musical tour of the site, navigating through the sorting piles to explore the fragile nature of memory. Watch a video of McDonald at RAIR in The Wall Street Journal.>>

The PRISM Quartet. Photo by Jon Rohrer.

O zlozony/O composite
June 9-12

Bryn Mawr College’s retrospective, Trisha Brown: In the New Body, culminates in performances of the postmodern choreographer’s O zlozony/O composite by the Pennsylvania Ballet, marking the first time a US ballet company will perform Brown’s work. Inspired by the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz and Edna St. Vincent Millay, O zlozony/O composite combines Brown’s signature choreographic voice with the refined movement of classical dance.

Leaning Duets, performed by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Photo © Thibault Gregoire, 2013.

Seven Responses
June 24-25

The Crossing has commissioned seven renowned composers to create musical responses to 17th-century composer Dieterich Buxtehude’s Jesu Membra Nostri, a series of seven short cantatas that address the body of Jesus Christ. The Crossing will perform alongside leading ensembles Quicksilver Baroque and the International Contemporary Ensemble, alternating their performances and presenting the historic cantatas alongside their contemporary counterparts in two programs.

El Viaje (The Journey)
June 25-26

Percussionist and Pew Fellow Pablo Batista presents the world premiere of a new performance work that tells the story of the spiritual and cultural resilience of those forced to emigrate from Africa to the Americas. El Viaje will blend traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms, contemporary Western instrumentation, Afro-Caribbean choreography, and multi-media imagery to create an immersive musical experience.

Firebird: Reimagined
July 20

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts brings together The Philadelphia Orchestra, Grammy Award-winning South African vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and South Africa’s renowned Handspring Puppet Company in a multidisciplinary interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s orchestral score for the 1910 ballet The Firebird.



Collaborators & Colleagues

Pianist, composer/arranger, and educator Mike Holober serves as artistic director/conductor of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra and composer-in-residence with the Gotham Wind Symphony.

Piffaro holds a symposium exploring music, poetry, and art in the Spanish Golden Age, and its relation to Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jan Ramirez has served as chief curator and director of collections for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City since 2006.

Grants & Grantees

The Kimmel Center, Inc. received Center support for the sixth season of Fresh Ink, a series that highlights the work of contemporary composers and performers.

A multidisciplinary interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s orchestral score The Firebird that links South African and Russian traditions.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Pam Tanowitz is a choreographer and the founder of Pam Tanowitz Dance. In 2015, she served as a Performance LOI panelist.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Craig Barton is a professor of architecture and urban design and director of the Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is founding artistic director of Urban Bush Women, a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change.

The William Way LGBT Community Center is a non-profit organization serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations of Philadelphia and its nearby communities.

Lisa Kraus, Trisha Brown: In the New Body project director and former member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, offers an inside view into Brown’s dance rehearsals, artistic development, and more.

Collaborators & Colleagues

James Fei is an active composer and performer on saxophones and live electronics and an associate professor of electronic arts at Mills College in Oakland, where he has taught since 2006. He served as a Center music panelist in 2013, and an LOI panelist for Performance in 2015.

Blacksberg, a trombonist, composer, and 2012 Pew Fellow and Gutkin, a historical musicologist, sought to “sonify” the everyday environment of an office space and conducted various musical experiments.