A New Dance Platform in Philadelphia Has Its Inaugural Launch

photo by Bill Hebert

Steven Weisz, founder of PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, has brought numerous dance programs to the greater Philadelphia region over the years. His newest international project, Graffito Works (translated as “little scribbles” of movement) will have its inaugural launch in June with two performances at Grounds For Sculpture and Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

Weisz, views this newest project as a dance platform and not a dance company, and has created a financially sustainable model for arts presentation. Working with museums, gardens and public spaces that already have a built in audience, he matches potential corporate donors to fund dance performances. Unlike traditional companies that have a set cast and choreography, Weisz has selected some of the best improvisational dancers in the region to come together and create “scribbles of movement” or “graffito” from which the company derives its name.

Weisz goes on to describe this new platform, “Graffito Works offers dancers and performing artists an opportunity to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public. Work is created in non-traditional spaces, challenging artists to push the boundaries of their craft, while making their work relevant and accessible to a wider audience.”

For the selected venues, the graffito dance programs bring in new audiences, add value to existing membership programs, provide for cross collaboration between arts genres and in fact, bring in new sources of revenue. For the corporate sponsors, their name and brand has the opportunity to be visible before a much wider audience then they would normally be able to do by sponsoring a smaller, experimental dance company.

While initially launching in the Philadelphia region, Weisz will be bringing his new project to Italy in July as well as to Toronto in the fall. He hopes to add more cities to his roster, making this an international program and eventually offering the opportunity for artist exchanges.

For the dancers, the program has allowed them to improvise with “a collection of many amazing and talented Philadelphia movers” according to member Zornitsa Stoyanova. Many of the Graffito movers like Stoyanova have their own independent companies in the region. In bringing them together, Weisz has created additional opportunities for cross collaborations.

Graffito Works first performance on June 6th at 2:00pm will feature improvisational dance with movement that is spontaneously created and inspired by the exhibition In The Forest Drawn of Metal by artist Robert Lobe, currently on display at Ground For Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ.

The following week on Sunday, June 14th at 2:00pm, they will present at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Horticultural and Lansdowne Drives, Philadelphia. The dancers will create improvised movement throughout the surrounding gardens examining the textural nuances in nature, along with the resonance body landscapes that can be created in tune with the natural surroundings.

Both performances are included with admission to the venues and offer attendees an opportunity to view nature, art and movement from an entirely different and immersive perspective. Philadelphia Movers include Asimina Chremos, Lee Fogel, Meg Foley, Loren Groenendaal, Beau Hancock, Adam Kerbel, JungWoong Kim, Julius Masri, Megan Mazarick, Marion Ramirez, Jenny Sawyer and Zornitsa Stoyanova.  For more information on Graffito Works and their upcoming performances visit www.graffitoworks.com

Graffito Works
Improvisational Dance Performance
June 6, 2015 at 2:00pm, West Gallery
Anniversary Arts Party | Robert Lobe Exhibition: In The Forest Drawn of Metal
Grounds For Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ.

Graffito Works
Improvisational Dance Performance
June 14, 2015 at 2:00pm
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Horticultural and Lansdowne Drives, Philadelphia, PA 19131