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Tangle’s circus-theater meets science fiction in Half-life

Photo by Jill LeMin Lee.

Eight women on trapeze survive the end of the world—then ask, what happens next? Tangle’s new aerial acrobatics show Half-life will premiere at Germantown’s Funicular Railway Station on June 1 & 2, 2012.

Inspired by complex machines, survivalist propaganda, and the animal kingdom, Half-life is an intricate exploration of utopian visions, strategies for getting through the apocalypse, the organic vs. the robotic, systems, time, and decay. Tangle showcases its narrative, interactive style and builds and breaks connections between the ground and the air.

Tangle is an eight-woman aerial acrobatics performing company with an interdisciplinary focus, whose work explores unexpected pathways between traditional circus disciplines like trapeze and partner balancing with dance, theater, live music, and spoken word. Tangle’s unique performance style captivates audiences and tells a many-dimensional story. Founded in Philadelphia in 2011, Tangle members have studied performance and trained circus arts at schools from around the world to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.

Following its sold-out 2011 Philadelphia Fringe Festival debut, Ampersand, and its popular summertime outdoor showcase, tinycircus, Tangle bringing its newest production to Germantown. On Friday, June 1st (7:30pm) and Saturday, June 2nd (3pm & 8pm), Tangle will premiere its new work at the Funicular Railway Station in Germantown (416 W. Coulter Street).

“We are motivated to push the boundaries of what you expect to see in a circus show,” says Tangle founder Lauren Rile Smith. “We named this new work Half-life in reference to the decay of radioactive matter. We wanted to explore what happens when established structures—buildings, mechanical bodies, even a network of friendships among people—break down over time, and what new life can emerge from the ruins. In this show, we travel into the apocalypse—and survive!“ Half-life is a spectacle of aerial acrobatics, dance, and group motion.

Tangle presents Half-life— a spectacle of aerial dance and acrobatic group motion.
The Funicular Railway Station, 416 W. Coulter Street, Philadelphia PA 19144.
Friday June 1st at 7:30 pm, and Saturday June 2nd at 3 pm and 8 pm.
Tickets: $10-15 (discounts for students, seniors, and groups). Purchase at the door or online at tangle-arts.com.


- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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