BLOOD will take place in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, with seven performances from September 24-27 (6PM and 8PM from Thursday-Saturday and 6PM only on Sunday). This production, a premiere for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2020, is a co-creation of female dance artists, Evalina “Wally” Carbonell and Weiwei Ma. The two women will be joined on stage by musician and composer, Ajibola Jeremy Rivers.
BLOOD will be a sublime contemplation of the very blood that fuels our humanity. “The fragile scarlet tree we carry within us,” (Osbert Sitwell), blood itself and its flowing viscosity, alternately violent and beautiful, is the inspiration behind this work. A Philadelphia Fringe Festival premiere, “Blood,” revels in the drama of the female body, painting the space with curving mystery and heated fluidity. Wally and Weiwei have worked together under the umbrella of the internationally renowned and Philadelphia- based Kun-Yang Lin/ Dancers (KYL/D) since 2013. After years of sharing the stage together in works by their Artistic Director, Kun-Yang Lin, five Fringe Festival installments by Evalina “Wally” Carbonell, and finally in the fall of 2018, having their choreographic works on the same bill at KYL/D’s fall home season, these two fresh but experienced female dance-makers were eager to make a work together. With their origins and training beginning on opposite ends of the globe (Weiwei was born in China and Wally in Washington, DC), they have matured into dynamic, fearless creative forces in their own rights alongside one another. BLOOD began boiling in their creative minds in fall 2019 and the production will mark their first equally-handed independent choreographic collaboration with one another.
BLOOD is driven by the sounds of the heart strings from both within and without. During the process of creation, both choreographers agreed that there should be real instrumental sound and artistic life in the space fueling the soundscape of the dance. Philadelphia-based and Nigerian-born, Ajibola Jeremy Rivers, who originally collaborated with Wally at an Artsi event (check out artsiphilly for more on this hip non-profit brainchild of KYL/D artist Keila Perez-Vega and husband Pradhan Sharma), agreed to join their artistic process in summer 2020, and making this vision a reality. Bringing his compositional and performative talent into the mix on the cello, Ajibola will contribute a combination of original music and interpretations of already existing works, overlaid independently of, on top of, and in addition to a pre- recorded soundscape by various additional composers.
The space where BLOOD will come to life, a turn-of-the century garage, that has recently been converted into a studio space is typically a home for movement artists, practicing spirals and spinal undulations in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM under the guidance of Evalina Carbonell, as well as nurturing their dance practices atop the newly sprung floor, bounding up toward the rustic vaulted ceiling. For BLOOD, the artists will inhabit the indoor space, while the audience looks in from their socially distanced seating arrangements outside in the open air. Stage Manager and Lighting Designer, Francis Markocki, who also happens to be a fellow Dance Artist at KYL/D with Weiwei and Wally, is the artful eye and hand behind the personalized lighting which will be installed in the space specifically for these performances. Other specially designed surprises in the space designed by Wally’s husband, restauranteur, Alejandro Carbonell and costumes by Weiwei’s mother, Baozhen Chai, will surely delight audiences and complete the ambience.
Evalina “Wally” Carbonell is an independent creator and Dance Artist with Philadelphia’s own, Kun-Yang Lin/ Dancers (KYL/D). Originally from Maryland, she received her early training at the National Ballet School in the Cechetti method and went on to earn a BFA in Dance from Florida State University. Upon graduation, Evalina joined Roxey Ballet Company where she danced as a principal artist for six years.
Since joining KYL/D in 2012, Evalina has become an increasingly prolific new choreographic voice, performing and presenting her own work throughout the East Coast. In 2018, she was honored to be able to create a new work on the dancers of KYL/D for their home season and in 2019 became the Curator of the company’s Inhale Performance Series. Also an avid teacher and artist in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM and a mother of two, this fall marks her 7th year of presenting new work in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.
Weiwei Ma is a Chinese dancer, teacher, and choreographer who started professional Chinese dance training at eleven. She studied choreography at The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Arts where she graduated with a BFA degree. Before coming to Philadelphia, Weiwei taught Chinese classical dance and choreography at Beijing Contemporary Music Academy. Weiwei graduated with her MFA degree from Temple University in Philadelphia in 2016. One of her works was selected in 2015 for performances at Boyer College, which she represented at the 2016 ACDFA conference in Brockport, NY. Weiwei has been a member of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers since 2013 and is the lead Chinese dancer for KYL/D’s cultural programs.
Ajibola Jeremy Rivers, is a Nigerian-Cherokee performing artist of many talents. He has received classical training as a cellist and is a self-taught bass guitarist and composer. He has a number of works in development, and between works he performs professionally in collaboration with various artists all along the East Coast of the United States.
As an, “In Real Life,” (IRL) performance and a part of FRINGEARTS’ 2020 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, BLOOD promises to be an intense, sensual, moving and safely accessible evening of live dance and music. Come for BLOOD and leave inspired.
September 24,25,26 @ 6pm and 8pm
September 27 @ 6pm
Venue: 118 W Phil Ellena Street Philadelphia, PA 19119
Price: $20 General Admission
Ticket Information: https://fringearts.com/event/blood/
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