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The Bang Group Returns to Philadelphia

Head Over Heels

Returning to Philadelphia for their third appearance under the auspices of Quince Productions, the renowned dance troupe, The Bang Group opens for GayFest! on August 5 with a two-night run of their new show, “Head Over Heels.”

In typical Bang Group fashion, audiences will be presented with an amalgam of influences from gay culture and street dance to MGM musicals. Dressed in white tie and tails, three men and one woman align, hook up, and peel apart as the songs anchor the story of four people who are absurdly and valiantly devoted to love.

“I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to have The Bang Group back in Philadelphia,” says Quince Productions’ Producing Artistic Director Rich Rubin, “They did the first show Quince ever produced, and they were the hit of the 2012 GayFest! Philadelphia always has a home for The Bang Group, and we’re lucky to have their unique humor as part of this festival.”

The Bang Group’s mission, based on choreographer David Parker’s devotion to rhythmic form and its theatrical potential, is to facilitate the creation and performance of Parker’s dances. TBG has toured to 13 countries and 23 states, many of TBG’s works have achieved international acclaim including his notorious velcro duet, Slapstuck (2002 Bessie Award for Design),Nut/Cracked which has been touring for the past 10 seasons, and ShowDown a danced version of Annie Get Your Gun.  TBG has been presented in 10 seasons by Dance Theater Workshop and New York Lives Arts, 2 by Danspace Project and several by DanceNow/NYC and Symphony Space.  Parker is a 2013 Guggenheim fellow and has been honored with a MOVE Award from DTW, an ART + Action Award from Gibney Dance Center, and choreographic awards from the International Competition for Choreographers in The Netherlands, the Kurt Jooss Awards in Germany, and the Monte Carlo Danse Forum in Monaco.  The company has received support from NYFA (Build Grant), Jerome Robbins Foundation, Frederick Loewe Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, Arts International, Pentacle’s ARC Grant, Netherland-America Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Fund, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, 2wice Foundation and individuals. TBG is the dance company in residence at NYC’s West End Theater where it presents a thrice-yearly choreographic series called Soaking W.E.T.

The Bang Group, a rhythm based, theatrical dance company based in New York City,  incorporated as a non profit in 1995. TBG has been presented in NYC by Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, New York Live Arts, Symphony Space, and DanceNow/NYC at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. Through The Bang Group’s 13 year relationship with Summer Stages Dance in Concord, MA. it also enjoys a sustained presence in Boston through performances on First Night Boston, at The Out On The Edge Festival at the Boston Center for the Arts and through extensive teaching and mentoring of Boston area dancers and choreographers.

The Bang Group has enjoyed significant domestic touring including engagements and/or commissions from Philadelphia Dance Affiliates, University of Maryland at College Park, Sushi in San Diego, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Wortham Center in Houston, Northwestern University in Evanston, American Dance Festival, The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, Portland, Maine Performing Arts, Actors Theater of Louisville, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Fire Island Dance Festival, Provincetown Playhouse and several others. The Bang Group has appeared in 23 of the United States. In addition, the company has appeared regularly in Montreal at Studio 303, Tangente, CINARS Festival and Divers Cite.

European touring highlights include The Holland Dance Festival, Tanzsprache Vienna, Dance Week Zagreb, Belluard Bollwerk Switzerland, Invito Alla Danza in Rome, Charleroi Danses Biennale in Belgium, Fondation Cartier in Paris, Konfrontace in Prague, Divdelna Nitra in Slovakia, Folkswang in Essen, Germany, Monaco Danse Forum, OT 301 in Amsterdam, Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The Bang Group has been funded by The Jerome Robbins Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts Build Grant, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Greenwall Foundation, Pentacle’s ARC Fund, Mid Atlantic Arts Fund, Netherland America Foundation, Fund for Mutual Understanding, Arts International, 2wice Foundation (2000), Hale Matthews Foundation, Frederick Loewe Foundation, as well as several private donors.

For tickets or more information about The Bang Group’s appearance at  GayFest! 2014 go to  www.quinceproductions.com or call 215-627-1088.

- 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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