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SCUBA ’14 – Presenting New Choreographic Works from Around the Country

Jose Navarette’s BAILOUT!
photo: Kim Anno & Kyung Lee

For the first time in its nine-season history, all four partner cities will be part of the 2014 SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance, presented locally by Philadelphia Dance Projects. SCUBA provides an opportunity for emerging to mid-career dance artists to bring their work to new audiences across the country. This year, Philadelphia will be the second stop on a tour that also visits Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle. Local performances take place March 14 – 15 at the Conwell Dance Theater of Temple University.

Nichole Canuso_Midway Ave_Peggy Woolsey (3)  Nichole Canuso_Midway Ave_Peggy Woolsey (2)
Nichole Canuso Midway Avenue
Photos by Peggy Woolsey

Among the artists taking part in SCUBA is Philadelphia choreographer Nichole Canuso, who will present a preview of Midway Avenue, a rare opportunity to see Canuso performing solo work. Incorporating music, movement and personal narrative, Canuso uses Frédéric Chopin’s 24 Preludes as a frame for exploring her own memories, balancing humor and pathos to create a composite portrait of life, with the past and present overlapping. Following this preview, the evening-length work will premiere at FringeArts in early May.

From Minneapolis, Erin Search-Wells, Sam Johnson and Jeffrey Wells, known as Super Group, will perform The Tent Has Been Pulled Down. Camille LeFevre of the Minneapolis Citypages has said of their work, “The collaborative, interdisciplinary ensemble has been delighting and wowing audiences with super-imaginative explorations that blur the boundaries of dance, theater and performance art.”

Elia Mrak of Seattle will present erica, a solo performed by Erica Badgeley. Of the piece, Seattle Dance Blog says, “Badgeley performed with intense beauty, authenticity and stamina. Mrak has taken artistic risks that keep the audience hanging on every movement.”

Finally, Jose Navarrete, co-director with Debby Kajiyama of Kajiyama Dance Theater in San Francisco, returns to SCUBA with BAILOUT! Or can you picture this prophecy? The temperature too hot for me, a suite of dances that respond to Earth’s upheavals as the climate changes. Navarrete and Kajiyama traveled to North Japan in 2012 as volunteers for the cleanup efforts in Tohoku and Fukushima in the aftermath of the tsunami and subsequent nuclear reactor meltdown. They documented their experience in the exclusion zone of Fukushima and, in conjunction with the performance, will talk about the environmental disaster and how artists have been responding to the event. This free presentation will be held at PhillyCAM on March 10.

SCUBA ‘14 takes place Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be on a shared program. Conwell Dance Theater is located on the northeast corner of Broad Street and Montgomery Avenue in Philadelphia on the campus of Temple University. Tickets are $5-$20 and can be purchased at DanceBoxOffice.com or by calling 215-546-2552. For more information, please visit PhilaDanceProjects.org.


About SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance  |  www.scubadance.us
The Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, ODC Theater in San Francisco, Philadelphia Dance Projects and the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis partner together to bring the freshest names in contemporary dance to new audiences. SCUBA provides precious touring opportunities for local dance artists, and for everyone else it gives a fantastic view of the breadth of choreographic invention across the country.

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. Philadelphia Dance Projects Presents is 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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