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Sam-Gam BAM!, triple-power dance at Drexel

Photo by Bill Hebert

By Merilyn Jackson For The Inquirer

Philadelphia’s dancers have built a community that’s the envy of other cities around the country. A Washington City Paper article last month cited Headlong Dance Theater as a ringleader, quoting one of its founders, David Brick, as saying, “You have to figure out how to do things on your own.” Sometimes that requires contorting into unlikely partnerships such as the one between Headlong, another long-established dance group, Group Motion, and Viji Rao’s newer Three Aksha. Their show, called “Sam-Gam BAM!”, opened at Drexel’s Mandell Theater last weekend and continues Thursday through Saturday.

Headlong is the postmodern, hipster/brainy dance company that relocated in Philadelphia from Wesleyan University in the early 1990s; German expressionist Group Motion had arrived from Berlin back in 1968. Traditional Indian dance company Three Aksha’s been around for the better part of the last decade.

“Sam-gam” – Sanskrit for “flow together” – is the title and overarching theme of the new works presented by the three companies, whose flowing together was pure serendipity.

“Group Motion had reserved the Mandell for two weekends,” said company director Manfred Fischbeck, “and since Headlong and Three Aksha inquired about the Mandell for the same dates, it made sense to join forces with the support of the Dance UP rental subsidy program.”

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