Headlong Dance Theater Seeks Citizen Dancers

Headlong Dance Theater is seeking four Philadelphia households to participate in This Town Is A Mystery, a groundbreaking new performance project that will premiere during the 2012 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. This unprecedented project will journey into four households, transforming each home into a  theater and the household members into performers.

Headlong is looking for people eager to partner with professional artists in a real artistic process, but prior experience and professional training are not required.  Combining movement, stories, music, and video, Headlong company members will work with each group to create a unique show that harnesses the talents of the participants and shares the stories of their households and neighborhoods.

“Who lives in Philadelphia?” asks Andrew Simonet, a Headlong co-founder and co-director.  “Every home is its own universe. We are fascinated with the epic stories and the everyday rituals that live in every home.  What mysteries reside in these households, and what conversations might happen if we open our doors a little? We hope to hear from households in all corners of Philadelphia and from people who are excited about sharing a cultural experience and are ready to take on this adventure.”

“Citizen dancers” are non-professional movers and shakers of any age, background, and ability who are willing to commit to a short but structured rehearsal process leading to performances in September 2012. All types of homes will be considered: apartment, row home, trinity, big or small, fancy or modest.  Likewise, all types of households who live together and eat together, regardless of family status, will be considered for participation.

During performances, 10 audience members will come to the house to watch a 20-25 minute show. This intimate experience will continue with dinner shared by performers and audience.  Households will receive a stipend for their participation.

Applications will be available online or in person during several scheduled community events. For more information, visit www.thistownisamystery.com or contact Andrew Simonet at andrew@headlong.org or (215) 767-6881.

A Do-It-Yourself-With-Headlong option will also be offered for households that are not chosen but still wish to create a performance of their own.  Details on the DIY kit will be announced in 2012.

This Town Is a Mystery has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance, The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation.

About Headlong Dance Theater

Co-Directors David Brick, Andrew Simonet and Amy Smith founded Headlong Dance Theater in 1993. Over the years, Headlong has created over forty dances, many of which are known for their witty take on contemporary culture. Recent projects include CELL, a performance journey for one audience member at a time guided by a cell phone, and Hotel Pool, a dance theater piece performed in and around a hotel swimming pool. The Co-Directors’ eclectic movement backgrounds include modern, ballet, jazz, tap, contact improvisation, releasing techniques, theater, sports, sign language, Bharata Natyam, and Ghanaian dance. Drawing on these and many other sources, Headlong creates movement that both reflects and comments on the subject matter they are exploring.

Headlong has performed nationally and internationally to a range of audiences, and their work – informed by a deep commitment to collaboration, humor, and formal experimentation – has won many fans and much acclaim including a Bessie Award and a Pew Fellowship. Hailed as “fiendishly inventive” (The New Yorker) and “bright and brash” (The New York Times), Headlong’s work has been presented at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Wilma Theater, Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), P.S. 122 (NYC), Central Park Summerstage, The Jade Festival (Tokyo), The Kyoto Arts Center, The International Contemporary Dance Conference (Bytom, Poland), The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Headlong’s work has been funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, The Creative Capital Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, The Japan Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

About Steven Weisz

A Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with advanced degrees in Psychology and Education is an entrepreneur and CEO for several for-profits and non-profit corporations in the region. He is also an adjunct professor of Psychology with several local Universities.

Steven is currently the CEO of Delaware Valley on Line, one of the first regional Internet Service Provides that now focuses on business-class web hosting, design, and internet marketing. He is president and founder of Rainbow Promotions Inc., a special events and entertainment agency established in the late 70’s, that services corporate and retail accounts both locally and nationally.

Steven is the Founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, the largest web presence and resource for the dance community in the greater Philadelphia region, and the Founder and Editor of The Dance Journal. His involvement in the dance community extends to being Director of Graffito Works, an international platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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