Dance Lineup for the 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) Announced

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ management announced its full 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) lineup Friday afternoon during an event at the Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden. With over 50 performances ranging from music and dance to 360-degree immersive spectacle experiences, the 2018 festival raises the proverbial PIFA bar, showcasing critically-acclaimed work that has captivated critics and garnered awards nationally and internationally. Known for its engaging performances curated by The Kimmel Center from around the globe, the festival was first developed in 2011 drawing increasing audiences locally and attracts regional visitors seeking out the ultimate Philly experience. The 2018 festival runs Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 10.

The newly announced performances included a list of live theater, dance, and interactive visual art installations that transform the city for the 11-day, multi-arts takeover of the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus, public spaces, parks, and outdoor spaces throughout the heart of Philadelphia. Innovative dance is at the core of the festival lineup, beginning with the World Premiere of Cristal Palace, a nearly 40-foot human chandelier with more than 50 live performers and dancers by the French performance troupe La Compagnie Transe ExpressAlso on tap is the American Premiere of Tape Riot by the Swedish artist troupe Asphalt Piloten, with daily surprise appearances across the outdoor spaces of America’s most historic city. The festival also presents the World Premiere of My Organ, My Seoul, featuring former K-pop artist Boram Kim and Ambiguous Dance Company, and the Philadelphia premieres of Doggie Hamlet by Ann Carlson, an outdoor work featuring four dancers, a flock of sheep and a border collie; and SEA: Singular Extreme Actions by the “radical choreographer” (The New YorkerElizabeth Streb.

Tickets to individual performances are on sale now for Kimmel Center members and start at $19. Public on sale takes place on Tuesday January 30. Please check for the most up-to-date pricing for each show. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling 215-893-1999.


Cristal Palace (World Premiere)
Transe Express
TBD outdoor location on the banks of the Schuylkill River
June 1 – 10, 2018, live performances at 8:00 p.m. nightly
More than 200,000 witnessed the “jaw-dropping sensation” during the 2011 PIFA, when aerial performers dangled hundreds of feet in the air above Broad Street and transfixed the crowd with an otherworldly spectacle. Transe Express, the celebrated French performance troop, returns with the world premiere of Cristal Palace, a 360-degree immersive event featuring a musician-topped chandelier as the centerpiece for the best dance party Philly has ever seen. This will be the World premiere of Cristal Palace,  commissioned by the Kimmel Center.


My Organ My Seoul (World Premiere)
Ambiguous Dance & Ahreum Han
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center
June 3, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
Direct from South Korea, former K-pop artists Boram Kim and Kung-min Jang dazzle audiences with their witty exploration of individual rhythm and freedom of expression in this world premiere featuring the Kimmel Center’s Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The afternoon includes a performance of “Rhythm of Human”; Curtis Institute-trained, critically-acclaimed organist Ahreum Han on the Kimmel Center’s Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ; and a collaborative piece commissioned by the Kimmel Center. This will be the World premiere of My Organ My Seoul.


Doggie Hamlet (Philadelphia Premiere)
Ann Carlson
Belmont Plateau
June 3, 2018, 10:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m.
June 4, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
What has five performers, three herding dogs, a flock of sheep, and hay bale seating? Doggie Hamlet! This outdoor performance spectacle weaves dance, music, visual, and theatrical elements with aspects of competitive sheep herding trials. A work that “defies categorization” (Center for the Art of Performance), this Philadelphia Premiere is based on The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, an Oprah book-club pick about a mute boy born into a family of dog breeders. The dreamlike display weaves together equal parts mystery and movement. This will be the Philadelphia premiere of Doggie Hamlet.


SEA (Singular Extreme Actions) (Philadelphia Premiere)
Streb Extreme Action
Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center
June 5, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
June 6, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
June 7, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Watch as the laws of physics are put to the test at SEA (Singular Extreme Actions), a Philadelphia premiere event from the mind of MacArthur Genius Award winner Elizabeth Streb. Human bodies careen through, around, and above a physical and kinetic set, thrilling audiences with athleticism and a healthy dose of bravery. Equal parts daredevil stunt work and acrobatics, SEA is a kaleidoscope of movement where every performer is dubbed an “action hero”. This will be the Philadelphia premiere of SEA (Singular Extreme Actions).


Tape Riot (American Premiere)
Asphalt Piloten
Secret locations revealed to ticket holders
June 5, 2018, 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
June 6, 2018, 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
June 7, 2018, 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
June 8, 2018, 5:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
See Philadelphia in a whole new way! Without the constraints of a theatrical performance structure, this hybrid dance art tour permits audience members freedom of movement throughout the city. Starting at a Center City, Philadelphia, mystery location – revealed only to ticketholders through a communication before the performance – audiences will be guided through a journey leaving artistic traces of gaffer tape as hints along the way and experiencing morsels of artistry from a quartet of artists combine electronic soundscapes, and award-winning choreography, to create a dynamic performance that undulates through the City of Brotherly Love. U.S. premiere, Asphalt Piloten’s Tape Riot is a performance that pushes against traditional boundaries by infiltrating urban public spaces to create a totally unexpected and unique experience. This will be the American premiere of Tape Riot and Asphalt Piloten’s American debut. These performances are made possible through the Kimmel Center’s exclusive membership in In Situ – a network of European presenters specializing in art in public spaces. The Kimmel Center is the only U.S. member, and the affiliation allows the Kimmel Center to bring unique European performances to Philadelphia.


Content Protection by

0 replies on “Dance Lineup for the 2018 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) Announced”

Become A Member of PhiladelphiaDANCE

Membership is only $15 for a FULL YEAR of exclusive content and use of our portal, grant and funding information, free positing to our newsfeed – the new listserv , app for IOS and Android for on the go, discounts, priority support and more! Learn More

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Sent out each Sunday with all the latest dance news and updates for the Philadelphia region.

Related Posts