Dance Celebration brings legendary Swiss troupe Mummenschanz to PhiladelphiaNov 22nd, 2010 | By Steven Weisz | Category: Archived Articles
Perfect for both the young and the young at heart, legendary Swiss troupe Mummenschanz returns to Philadelphia after an ten year absence to perform 3 x 11, a retrospective piece that features the troupe’s most beloved, imaginative and humorous characters from over the years, as well as some newer original material. A unique alternative to the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol, Mummenschanz is the perfect holiday outing for the whole family. Performances take place December 16-18, 2010 and are part of the 2010/11 Dance Celebration season presented by Dance Affiliates and the Annenberg Center. For tickets or for more information, please visit AnnenbergCenter.org or call 215.898.3900. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Annenberg Center Box Office located at 3680 Walnut Street.
Mummenschanz has captivated audiences worldwide with its groundbreaking visual theatre that transcends the traditional barriers of nationality and culture. The company creates a whimsical and wordless universe filled with eccentrically playful humour and fantastic shapes and creatures made from inanimate objects like wires, fabric, cardboard, garbage bags and toilet paper. Inventive use of forms, shadow and light are also used throughout each vignette to tell the audience a story. “Although unrecognizable as people, they powerfully engage the emotions with their silly, earnest and very human activities, supply revealing universal truths through simple interactions and transformation.” (The New York Times)
Currently in its fourth decade of existence, Mummenschanz, which loosely translated means “masquerade,” remains one of the most successful theater groups in the world. Formed in 1972 by Swiss artists Bernie Schürch and Andres Bossard with Swiss-American artist Floriana Frassetto, the pioneering performance troupe revolutionized the world of mime and silent comedy by blending dance, mask-play, theatre and puppetry. The group had its breakthrough during an extended Broadway run at the Bijou Theatre in New York City from 1977-80. Never before and or since has a show without words or music succeeded on Broadway for three consecutive years. Since then, the group has toured continuously around the globe, performing in renowned festivals and theaters worldwide. U.S. TV appearances include Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
Since 2000, Mummenschanz has grown to a company of five, with original cast members Schürch and Frassetto now joined by featured performers Pietro Montandon and Raffaella Mattioli and technical director Jan Maria Lukas.
Mummenschanz performances take place on Thursday, December 16 at 7:30 PM; Friday, December 17 at 8:00 PM and Saturday, December 18 at 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM. Tickets are $24-$42 (afternoon performances) $28-$48 (evening performances). These performances are part of a three-month, multi-city tour that marks the troupe’s return to North America for the first time since 2003 and are the only opportunity to see Mummenschanz in Pennsylvania. Mummenschanz last performed as part of the Dance Celebration series in 2001.
Randy Swartz, Artistic Director of Dance Affiliates exclaims, “Magical mayhem abounds in this compellingly funny and touching movement theatre presentation. Memories are made here and we are thrilled to present this family friendly production during the holidays.”
Thursday, December 16 at 7:30 PM
Friday, December 17 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 18 at 2:00 PM
Saturday, December 18 at 8:00 PM
Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts