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What Makes A Masterpiece? Drexel Dance Program Lecture & Demonstration

Drexel Dance Program Begins the Year with a Lecture and Demonstration Featuring Deborah Jowitt and Janet Pilla

Why are certain performances remembered and heralded as timeless and classic? What makes a dance or any piece of art a masterpiece? Why are some paintings more famous than others? The Drexel University Dance program welcomes internationally renowned dance critic Deborah Jowitt to campus to explore the topic “What Makes A Masterpiece?”

Using Pauline Koner’s dance masterpiece The Farewell as a case study, Jowitt will answer this age-old question. Philadelphia’s Janet Pilla, who has toured nationally and internationally as a soloist of Ann Vachon/Dance Conduit for 12 years, will perform Koner’s The Farewell.

The lecture and demonstration is Thursday, October 4th at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandell Theater (33rd & Chestnuts Sts.). It is free and open to the public.

“It is an unusual opportunity to see an historically significant masterwork in dance performed live,” said Dr. Miriam Giguere, director of the dance program. “It is even more rare to hear from one of the preeminent dance critics of our times on how and why these great dances survive and become iconic. I am honored to present this lecture/demonstration to Drexel and the Philadelphia Dance Community. Dancers, dance history students, choreographers and anyone who values great works of art should be stimulated and inspired by this presentation.”
Pilla has been featured as a soloist in performances in Czechoslovakia, and in England, Scotland and Taiwan as a company member of Terry Beck Troupe and Ed Groff/Jin Wen Yu Dancers. She has performed with numerous Philadelphia choreographers and dance companies, including Group Motion, dance Teller, SCRAP Performance Group and Opus I.

Deborah Jowitt began professionally dancing more than 50 years ago and has been a dance critic writing for the Village Voice, The New York Times, Dance Magazine and numerous other publications for more than forty years. She is considered one of the premier voices writing about dance in America and served as a member and as co-chair of the Dance Advisory Panel to the National Council on the Arts. Jowitt is the recipient of dozens of awards, given numerous keynotes on dance and has performed in concerts by Phyllis Lamhut, Victoria Marks and Marta Renzi.

WHO: Deborah Jowitt and Janet Pilla
WHAT: What Makes A Masterpiece: Dance Lecture and Demonstration
WHERE: Mandell Theater, 33rd & Chestnut Sts
WHEN: Thursday, October 4 | 7:00 PM
TICKETS: FREE and open to the public
MORE INFO: drexel.edu/westphal | danceprogram@drexel.edu

- 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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