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The Dance Days of Summer

The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius also known as the “Dog Star”. Traditionally it marked the period from July 23 through August 23rd, when the weather was extremely hot.

And while Philadelphia has had its share of warmer weather, August traditionally marks “the calm before the storm” as many dancers and dance companies begin to gear up for the FringeArts festival just around the corner in September.  Dance classes are in full gear at all studios, but performances are a bit more scarce during these “dog days”. However, glimpses of dance in and about town can be seen as captured by photographer, Juan C. Irizarry of Philadelphia Dance Photo Project.

Juan seeks to showcase the city’s beautiful architecture, important history and diverse people through photographs that incorporate the vibrant and growing Philadelphia dance community. Juan draws his inspiration from the work of photographer Dane Shitagi and his Ballerina Project.  However, the Philadelphia Dance Photo Project has not been limited to just ballet,  but seeks to capture all genres of dance.  For Juan, this is a passion and his work is performed without charge, with some public contributions made to help cover his expenses.

Juan and his wife Maria are both originally from Puerto Rico and have been in the photography business since 2007.  Originally operating a studio in Virginia Beach, they relocated to Philadelphia in 2012 to be closer to family.  Juan and Maria continue to offer a broad range of photography services through their studio, Irizarry & Ross Photography.

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Jeanie Chrome as the Summer Fairy

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Caitlin Bond at Washington Square Park

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Mandie Noelle Milano – in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Sara Longrenn at 30th St. Station

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Caitlin Bond at Washington Square Park

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Jennifer Resino Gordon at Morris Arboretum

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Caitlin Bond at Washington Square Park

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Mandie Noelle Milano at Ft. Mifflin

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Kate Orlando-Meditz at Rittenhouse Square

- 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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