My Top Picks for FringeArts This Year

by Steven Weisz for The Dance Journal

Well maybe.  With the start of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival comes the deluge of top ten lists and your favorite blogger’s “must see” performances. In fact, these lists abound with recommendations directing readers to performances and guiding them with the assumption that your tastes align with that of the writer’s.

But the heart and soul of the Fringe has always been an opportunity to discover something new and unexpected.  While recommendations and guides can be advantageous, take a chance on discovering something new, whether it be a lesser known dance company or an off the beaten path venue.

There are more dance performances and movement artists than ever before to choose from. The Curated Fringe offers more established national and international artists, and this year even some local ones! The Neighborhood Fringe serves up works that are produced by independent artists but promoted by FringeArts. Selecting from both the curated and neighborhood offerings will give you a well-balanced perspective of festival offerings.

In the realm of movement artists, one can find selections that range from more traditional modern dance and balletic performances to edgy dance theater offerings and even circus artists with a propensity for choreography.

The cost for attending most of these productions is $20 and under, making it reasonable enough to try a few performances and still pay less than what you would for parking or snacks at a Phillies or Eagles game!

As the folks at FringeArts so well put it – “This vast assemblage of curated and self-produced innovators offers an unparalleled opportunity to see a cross section of the world’s greatest experimenters at one time, in one city.”

So my recommendation for this year is to ignore all the “top picks” and guides offered online, do a little homework and review the selections offered this year, and take a chance on seeing something new and different.  You really can not go wrong and you may just discover your own hidden gem among the vast array of offerings.

For a complete list of dance at FringeArts listings, see the Philadelphia Dance Calendar or visit the FringeArts website, and then create your own top ten list for this year’s fringe!


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