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Philadelphia Dance Projects Offers a Double Bill With Local Choreographer Nora Gibson and Dublin’s John Scott


Philadelphia Dance Projects continues its 2014 season of debuting new dance works with premieres by local choreographer and dancer Nora Gibson and Dublin choreographer John Scott. The shared program will take place at the Performance Garage February 27 – March 1.

Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer for her “severely focused intellectual beauty” in performance, Gibson has partnered once more with critically acclaimed lighting designer Clifford Greer for her newest work, Temporal Objects. “This piece has grown out of my interest in fugue analysis and my collaboration with Clifford to integrate lighting and choreography as equal voices in the work,” says Gibson. “As this piece developed and as the manipulation of light and movement patterns began to resemble instances of recollection in the mind, we continued to explore how memories themselves are replayed and re-patterned. Elements from distant points in time: the baroque, romantic era, and the present were invited into the same moment as objects co-existing in the conscious.” Temporal Objects will feature Gibson alongside company dancers Erin Gallagher, Melissa McCarten, Meredith Stapleton and Jessica Warchal-King, performing to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Gibson will share the stage with the energy-packed and highly physical dance of John Scott and the Irish Modern Dance Theatre of Dublin, Ireland. Choreographed by Scott with music by the US duo BLACKFISH and lighting by Eric Würtz, the Philadelphia premiere of Body Duet features two exceptional and witty performers: New York’s “Bessie” award winning Michelle Boulé and Philip Connaughton, one of Ireland’s outstanding male dancers. The piece depicts one person, danced by a male and female dancer attempting to create one body, using breath to generate movement. Playful, virtuosic and passionate, Scott’s work celebrates the ecstatic feeling of being together, of losing fear and inhibition, and trusting in being together.

On Saturday, March 1, John Scott, Michelle Boulé and Philip Connaughton will lead a workshop open to the public that will engage them in the exciting, amusing and sometimes surreal creative processes Scott employs in the creation of his work. Dancers and non-dancers alike are encouraged to participate.

Temporal Objects and Body Duet are performed on a shared program Thursday, February 27 through Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street. Tickets are $15-20 and can be purchased at http://danceboxoffice.com/. The open workshop on Saturday, March 1 takes place from 1-3 p.m. at the Performance Garage. Admission is $10-15 . For more information, please visit PhilaDanceProjects.org or call 215-387-9895.

ABOUT NORA GIBSON  | http://noragibsonperformanceproject.weebly.com/

Nora Gibson, Director of the Nora Gibson Performance Project, is a Philadelphia based dancer and choreographer, whose training spans classical ballet to postmodern dance and improvisation. Gibson trained with Sylvester Campbell at Baltimore School for the Arts, and through ballet residencies at Chautauqua and NCSA. She later graduated with a BFA from Tisch, at NYU, where she had the opportunity to perform in the works of Elisa Monte and Mark Morris. Nora studied improvisational forms with Daniel Lepkoff, Nancy StarkSmith, and KJ Holmes. Nora has had the privilege of dancing for the Ellicott City Ballet, PATH Dance Company, Andrew Marcus, ClancyWorks Dance, and Jeffrey Gunshol. Nora was selected to perform in the reconstruction of 1970s works by Lucinda Childs, under the direction of Childs and Ty Boomershine, and has performed this work over the last three years. Last summer, Nora was awarded an artistic residency in Poland. Nora has performed her own work throughout Philadelphia and in NYC at various downtown venues such as P.S. 122, St. Marks Church, and DIA Center for the Arts. In 2009, she established Nora Gibson Performance Project, with Philadelphia as its home base. Since that time, her work has consistently received recognition. Gibson was awarded a 2009-10 Artist in Residence with the nEW Festival in Philadelphia, the CEC New Edge Residency for 2009-10, and the Ellen Forman Memorial Award in 2011. Her work has been commissioned by Drexel University and Bryn Mawr College. Gibson’s choreography has begun touring, and was presented by New Dance Alliance at Joyce SOHO, and co-presented by Dance Place in D.C.

ABOUT IRISH MODERN DANCE THEATER  | www.irishmoderndancetheatre.com

Irish Modern Dance Theater (IMDT), based in Dublin, Ireland, is a physically/culturally diverse ensemble under the artistic direction of John Scott.  Scott, a choreographer and singer, has studied and performed with Meredith Monk, Sara Rudner, Yoshiko Chuma and Anna Sokolow. He also studied with Susan Buirge. His recent works include BODY DUET, ACTIONS,  FALL AND RECOVER  and  THE  WHITE PIECE.  Tours include CDC- Les Hivernales, Avignon; studio le regard du cygne and Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France; TanzmesseNRW, Germany; Dance Base, Edinburgh; La MaMa, PS122 New York; Queer Zagreb, Croatia; Centro Culturel del Bosque, Mexico; Forum Cultural Mundial, Rio De Janeiro; Kanuti Guildi SAAL, Estonia. Scott’s choreography is playful, virtuosic and passionate and has been described as Beckett meets Monty Python. Touring Ireland, the company has pioneered dance as an art form in a country known more for literature and text-based drama.

The IMDT is a culturally diverse modern/post-modern inspired dance company based in Dublin and under the direction of Founder/Artistic Director/Choreographer John Scott. The Company engages dancers of different backgrounds, ages and body types from Ireland, Europe, Africa and USA. Scott pioneers innovative dance expression and promotes dialogue with international dance practitioners and audiences to achieve this.

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA DANCE PROJECTS | www.philadanceprojects.org

Philadelphia Dance Projects (PDP) supports contemporary dance through Projects that encourage artists and audiences to more fully participate and engage in the experience and pursuit of dance as an evolving form. Since its inception in 1993, under the aegis of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Philadelphia Dance Projects has engaged stellar dance artists many of whom were enlarging the modern and postmodern vocabularies with personal and/or cultural explorations in both technique and content. PDP achieves its mission by presenting performances, workshops, classes, a dance-film fest, dialogs and forums for a broad-based audience including artists, aspiring artists, students and the general public. In 2009 PDP launched Philadelphia Dance Projects Presents DANCE UP CLOSE a full presenting series highlighting national and local contemporary dance artists. The successful series is introducing new artists to Philly and premiering work by some of Philadelphia’s finest contemporary dance artists.


- 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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