Modern dance company New Street Dance Group has teamed up with DC-based new music ensemble The Radical Sound to bring a performance experience that begs the question: “Just what are we made of – and how stable is it, anyway?” Emphasis is on movement, design, and music to explore physical, personal, and social structures, legacies and inheritances, and entanglement of all kinds. Structurally Sound, part of the Philadelphia FringeArts Neighborhood Festival, will be presented on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 3:30pm and 7:00pm at Lithuanian Music Hall, 2715 E Allegheny Ave, Philadelphia, PA.
The concert features original dance work choreographed by company directors Krista Armbruster and Shannon Dooling in collaboration with the cast of twelve dancers. The movement takes places within a “spiderweb-esque” set, at times entrapping, entangling, and engaging the dancers while transforming the the music hall’s ballroom into an alternative performance space.
“A huge part of our mission is to bring dance to more people, especially those who would not typically go to a modern dance show, so we have something of a history of performing in churches, community centers, and other offbeat spaces,” says Dooling. “Our last two Festival performances were in Center City, and while we had a great turn out for both, we decided we wanted to branch out in other areas of Philadelphia that are maybe not as saturated by the festival scene.” For all these reasons, the Lithuanian Music Hall was a natural choice of venue for this year’s production.
The collaboration between the dancers and musicians is at the heart of Structurally Sound. According to Armbruster, “Together, we’re experimenting with everything from contemporary compositions and site-specific improvisation, to re-imaginings of historic music and dance.” Working with ideas borrowed from Baroque dance and ballet, contact improv and theatrical gestural movement, and NSDG’s signature classic, technically-based modern dance style, the choreographers and dancers have developed a unique movement palate that complements the rich, quirky, and dynamic music choices provided by The Radical Sound. The result is an abstract but accessible concert that Dooling and Armbruster hope will be engaging to general audiences and dance enthusiasts alike. “We don’t want to create dance just for dancers,” Dooling says. “If we want to build up the audience for dance, we have to make work that will bring a diverse group of people to our performances – and keep them coming back! Collaborating with musicians is great because not only does live music help draw new audiences, but having a set of “non-dance” eyes on the rehearsal process can bring a new perspective to the work.”
On the bill is a world premiere piece of music from composer Tomek Regulski, who has taken the opportunity to create outside his usual modes of composition. “One of the key elements that I consider when writing a piece is how it will engage the performance space from an acoustic point of view,” state Regulski. “Part of the reason that I am thrilled to be working with New Street Dance Group is that I get to see this idea extended into the physical and visual realms.”
Since 2009, New Street Dance Group (NSDG) has been bringing a dynamic form of collaborative dance-theatre to audiences throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond. Their performances cross disciplines, often incorporating live and original music, spoken word, and design, and they are committed to creating high-quality, accessible work in a variety of venues and for a variety of audiences. With collaborators living in the Philadelphia and Washington, DC areas, they enjoy a wide performing and teaching radius. The cast of dancers for this performance is made up of alumni and student apprentices from DeSales University in Center Valley, PA, Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and guest dancers from Philadelphia and New York City.
New Street Dance Group
Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 3:30pm and 7:00pm, pre-show reception with cash bar at 6:00pm
Lithuanian Music Hall, 2715 E Allegheny Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Tickets: $15, student and festival discounts apply, purchase at the Festival Box Office or cash at the door
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