Poetic Passageways in Philadelphia’s Magic Garden

The mosaic corridors of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, Isaiah Zagar’s non-traditional visionary art environment, will come to life through a series of exquisite, evocative vignettes on September 8 and 9 at 6:00PM and 8:00PM. In Poetic Passageways, choreographer/dancer Olive Prince (Olive Prince Dance and Drexel University), composer/musician Christopher Farrell (Rit Mo Collective and Temple University), and other performers will marry movement, music, and language into a site-specific performance. (Photographs below by Joanna Austin.)

Interpreting the poetry, philosophy, and art of Dadaists and Surrealists such as Apollinaire, Maillarme, Breton, and Duchamp, dancers and musicians will engage guests with playful and explorative works that relate these works to the massive art installation that serves as their stage. Isaiah Zagar, creator of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, drew inspiration from these historic figures for this large, visionary piece and even pays homage to them within the tiled walls. Visitors can arrive early to enjoy wine and light refreshments before the performance.

Exhibit developer Kevin Schott provided relevant research for Prince and Farrell to develop the Poetic Passageways piece using some Zagar’s muses as catalysts. Says Ellen Owens, Executive Director of PMG, “Poetic Passageways is a stimulating, darkly playful piece that was influenced by Surrealist parlor games and automatic writing. The music and choreography are structured in some instances and improvised in others, allowing the performance to transform itself organically each time it is performed. This imaginative work may be the most magical interpretation of our space to date.”

Premiered during the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), Poetic Passageways has been reworked and rewired, featuring new choreography and musical components, as well as new performers. Audiences will wander through various performance stations, interacting within both the space itself and the wondrous movements and sounds. Cost for the event is $12 per student and PMG Member tickets and $20 per adult ticket; this includes free refreshments. Visitors can buy tickets by calling 215.733.0390, or contacting the Fringe box office at

Olive Prince Dance ( is a new troupe led by choreographer/movement artist Olive Prince, performs intense, psychologically gripping, playful, and sometimes erotic dance, employing a wide variety of genres, spaces, and unusual props. Prince is known for choreography that questions, attempting to make sense of experiences in a changing contemporary world. Her work has been presented at numerous locations including the Live Arts Festival, nEW Festival, the International Contemporary Dance Conference in Poland, Dance Ensemble Singapore commission by the junior company, and as a resident artist at Susan Hess Choreographer’s Project in Philadelphia.Prince continues to develops her artistry as an Assistant Teaching Professor in Dance at Drexel University.

Rit Mo Collective, ( founded by composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Farrell in 2005, draws upon elements of World, Contemporary Jazz, Americana, Funk, and Classical Indian music to create lush cinematic soundscapes and dynamic improvisations. The collective consists of musicians in both Philadelphia and New York, and offers a wide variety of instrumentation. Farrell has scored music for film, television, dance, and spoken word poetry and performs regularly throughout the Northeast. He is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music & Dance and a dance accompanist at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Samples of his work can be heard at

Poetic Passageways
Olive Prince Dance, Rit Mo Collective
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Thursday, Sept 8 at 6 & 8pm
Friday, Sept 9 at 6 & 8pm

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