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It’s coming – The 2012 Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe with more dance than ever!

From September 7 – 22, the annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe will celebrate its 16th year with 16 days of cutting-edge dance, theater, music, visual and interdisciplinary works by renowned artists from the U.S. and international arts scene. With six world premieres and two U.S. premieres, the festival is a platform for daring and innovative artists, bringing leaders of the contemporary performing arts world to Philadelphia stages.

Once again, dance will take center stage at the festival with an overwhelming line up of shows and talent. Be sure to check out all of the dance listings on the PhiladelphiaDANCE.org calendar to help you plan ahead, and look for additional features and reviews here in the Dance Journal once the festival is in full swing.

photo: Private Places


The largest work in the Live Arts Festival’s 16-year history, Sylvain Émard Danse’s Le Grand Continental, brings together more than 200 Philadelphia-area residents of all ages and backgrounds to learn a 30-minute contemporary dance that displays the talent, charisma and personality of “ordinary” Philadelphians. Originally created for Montreal’s internationally renowned Festival TransAmériques in 2009, the Philadelphia version of Le Grand Continental will be the largest presentation of its kind in the world.

From the company that brought Traces to the 2011 Live Arts Festival, Montreal-based 7 FingersSequence 8 — a co-presentation of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts — carries emotional dynamics and physical feats to a point of explosion and propulsion, incorporating the strongest of theatrical elements at an even higher acrobatic level. Using simple props such as mirrors, a tape deck with instructive recordings and a portable projector, this momentous U.S. premiere tempts and tests the fine line between “self” and “other.”

Brian Sanders’ JUNK (Philadelphia), an acrobatically audacious company known for its ingenious use of found objects and clever inventions that bridge the gap between dance and physical theater, presents The Gate Reopened, a larger-than-life reimagining of Sanders’ thrilling 2003 hit The Gate.

A rising star in Philadelphia choreography, Jumatatu Poe presents the world premiere of Private Places, an original work that mixes themes of explosiveness and confinement, service and performance, materials and identity. Blending high-powered J-Setting choreography with the stylized movements of ordinary tasks, Private Places features Philadelphia dancers Gregory Holt, Maya Johnson, Shannon Murphy, Gabrielle Revlock and Michelle Tantoco.

Look for Headlong Dance Theater‘s This Town Is a Mystery, which combines local performance and dinner in four Philadelphia homes. Created over the course of several months by Headlong and each home’s residents, the dance works are performed by the residents in their own living rooms—transformed into a fully teched stage—with no professional performers.

photo: keila cordova dances


Philly Fringe continues to attract choreographers from around the world: This year, Bidisha Dasgupta (India) blends the classical style of Bharatanatyam with modern dance, while Polish Exchange Artists visit Mascher Space Co-op to exchange cross-cultural ideas in movement.

Locally, critically acclaimed Festival favorite Nichole Canuso Dance Company presents a genre-bending series of duets and video at the American Philosophical Society; Leah Stein Dance Company incorporates iron beams and brick walls into a site-specific dance at the Maas Building; and Dancefusion explores new and reconstructed works with a mini-festival at Drexel University’s Mandell Theater.

Returning for its 9th year, MM2 Modern Dance Company premieres Conversations, a dialog in movement at the Mt. Vernon Dance Space after a successful tour in Toronto. Additional noted dance artists include Project Moshen, keila cordova dances, Lauren Mandilian, Infatuation Dance Company, Rachel Oliver & Kate Speer and more.

Colony – Kelly Bond and Melissa Adrienne Krodman

CONVERSATIONS, A Dialog in Movement – MM2 Modern Dance Company

Counter Rotation – SomaticMovers

Dancefusion Two Views – Dancefusion

Day For A Dream – Call Me Crazy Dancers

dEvolution – Synthesis

Dynamic Surroundings – Heather Bourgeois and Jess Dixon


For Members Only – Lesya Popil and Eleanor Goudie-Averill

Go Together – Ellie Goudie-Averill and Pamela Vail

Hoist – Leah Stein Dance Company

modern dance explained – rebekah rickards

Navigating the Hallway – KDNY

Nichole Canuso Dance Company at the APS Museum – Nichole Canuso Dance Company and the APS Museum

RUB – Gunnar Montana & Jasmine Zieroff

S.O.A.R. – Kelli Moshen

Solos from Gdansk, Burdag and Warszawa – Polish Exchange Artists

Sticks & Stones – Rachel Oliver & Kate Speer

Tickle Me Gray – Infatuation Dance Company

Timelines – Lauren Mandilian



The Philadelphia Live Arts and Philly Fringe Festival runs from September 7 – 22, 2012. Tickets for most shows are priced between $10 and $30; some shows are free. Students and Festival-goers age 25 or younger pay $15 for Live Arts Festival tickets and receive $5 off any Philly Fringe tickets priced above $10. Discounted tickets are available to Festival Members. Festival Members save 20% on all shows, can exchange tickets, receive admission to exclusive special events, and save 10% at top Philadelphia restaurants. A Festival All-Access Pass ($400 for a one-person pass, or $800 for a two-person pass) grants admission to every Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe show, 20% for up to 3 additional tickets per performance, and ticket exchange service up to 48 hours prior to show time. Groups of 10+ save 25%.

Tickets are now available for purchase at www.livearts-fringe.org or at the Box Office at 215-413-1318. Tickets to Sequence 8 and Food Court, co-presentations of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, are available at  www.kimmelcenter.org.



- 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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