Wolfthicket plays with the traditions, rituals, and fantasies of the ‘girls games’ we grew up with (or didn’t), and how they hop and skip across time and place.
An ensemble cast led by director Lily Kind electrifies an unexpected venue with telepathic rhythms, and mischievous joy.
Wolfthicket premieres on August 21, 2021 at Merz Hall, in the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion. The shows run Saturdays and Sundays only through September 5, 2021, with an additional Thursday performance on August 26th. Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 7:30 pm with no late entry, running approximately one hour. All audience members will be required to wear a mask. All performers are vaccinated.
Directed by Lily Kind, Wolfthicket draws upon hand clapping games, recess activities, make-believe, and satires of intertwining US American folk traditions. The show is a collage of improvisations that Kind and ensemble have been developing since 2015. Sampling, chorus refrains, accumulation, percussion, and call and response power the music, the dancing, the set. The Pointer Sisters cover Steely Dan. Grace Jones interprets Edith Piaf. Miss Susie and her steamboat, from a childhood rhyme, mutate into a Vaudevillian dream. Kind has written a playbill-turned-bibliography that experiments with citing the omnipresence of Afro Diasporic influence on pop culture.
Wolfthicket began as research-project-designed-for stage with the Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company. In 2016 it became a darkly comedic, athletic, collaborative piece of dance theater co-directed with set designer Adam Stone. In 2019, a side project grew out of Wolfthicket rehearsals, and Kind made Bolero, an over the top romp set to the iconic classical bop. In early 2020, Kind toured to Chicago to perform the full show as a trio Table Projects. Before the pandemic, Kind also showed an excerpt of the work at the Rocky Awards, which she also hosted on behalf of thinkingDance and Fringe Arts.
Kind came to Philly in 2015 from Baltimore with a reputation for making large-scale collaborative, immersive, multidisciplinary dance theater as the leader of Effervescent Collective. Her DIY production process and aesthetic was forged in the fire of the 2009 economic recession, when Baltimore’s art and music scene experienced a boom. Her experience adapting her process to challenging circumstances has been necessarily applied this past pandemic year. The ensemble met up outdoors for regular groove sessions, “We doubled down on the good feelings of dancing and sweating together. It was never a formal rehearsal. It was practice: show up and show off for each other, share what we were working on, little cyphers on the basketball court in Lemon Hill.” Kind has a history of making work to suit idiosyncratic dancers, whom she once referred to as ‘heirlooms’ (“Choreographer as Scientist, Chef” Sarasota Herald Tribune). Members of her ensemble practice a variety of folk forms: Taiko drumming, capoeira, waacking, and house. Kind is known for tickling expectations of dance, and Wolfthicket is an exuberant culmination of her ongoing research into a theme that weaves through all of her work: why do we dance?
AUG 21, 22, 26, 28, 29 | SEP 4, 5
7 pm doors | 7:30 pm show
30 seat capacity masks required | no late entry
mertz hall | lutheran church of the holy communion, 2110 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
(enter on sansom st & ven pelt)
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