With indoor venues closed, outdoor crowds discouraged and audiences encouraged to stay home, Artistic Director, Pamela Hetherington, saw new opportunities to present her work that just were not feasible before COVID-19. “Producing a live tap dance and jazz music concert for longer than a two-show run is extremely cost prohibitive. Another side effect of that is: a short run doesn’t give us the chance to explore new material fully or feel comfortable to take risks. Since I already own a dance space with wood floors, the dancers and the band can easily set up there, once a week, and we can dive into an open format that allows for flexibility, improvisation and virtual audience interaction, still in the moment,” says Hetherington. One more bonus: “this will be the biggest amount of space we have ever had to dance in! Usually, we perform in jazz music settings or venues that aren’t exactly set up for tap dance.”
For this four-show run, Hetherington will present new choreography that features the music of Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones and Ray Brown. To keep it fresh each week, special guests will drop by every Sunday…and get ready, because they will take your music requests, throughout the show.
Hetherington, who composes her own music arrangements in addition to setting the choreography, positions the tap dancers as instrumentalists and designs their movements as music. On the floor each week will be five tap dancers: Lauren Belasco, Olivia Bohrer, Alec Chupik, Pamela Hetherington, and Kristin Potocki. The company’s house band, The Jazz Tap Quintet, is made up of some of the hippest jazz musicians in Philly: Tim Brey (piano), Paul Giess (trumpet), Jon Katz (saxophone), Nicholas Krolak (bass), and Claudio de Pujadas (drums). In particular, Katz and Krolak have played for Take It Away Dance since its inception in 2014.
Returning to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival after a successful 2019 run, the ways in which audiences receive jazz music and dance, and art in general, have certainly changed dramatically. But the company’s intention to keep jazz music and tap dance vitally connected, collaborative, and sometimes, totally off the cuff, remains the same. “Improvisation is the heart and soul of what we do,” says Hetherington, and notes that tap dance will continue to evolve as long as there are dancers who have something new to say with their feet. She concludes, “music never stops – – and neither does the show.”
The weekly concerts will stream from Sound Space Performing Arts, located on West Girard Avenue in Brewerytown. The music will start at 4 pm each Sunday. The set will last approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://fringearts.com/event/a-month-of-sundays/. Support provided by The Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
A Month of Sundays
Take It Away Dance
September 13, September 20, September 27, October 4 / 2020
Live streams start at 4 pm. Set runs approximately 75 minutes.
Suitable for all ages
$15 per show, $45 for the month of Sundays. Single ticket holders access the show for 24 hours. Monthly ticket holders access the group from 9/13/20-10/4/20.
Go to https://fringearts.com/event/a-month-of-sundays/ to purchase.
Credits: Pamela Hetherington: Artistic director, choreographer, Arranger.
Dancers: Lauren Belasco, Olivia Bohrer, Alec Chupik, Pamela Hetherington, Kristin Potocki
Musicians: Tim Brey (piano), Paul Giess (trumpet), Jon Katz (saxophone), Nicholas Krolak (bass), Claudio de Pujadas (drums)
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