Dynamic duo Emily “Lady Em” Pietruszka and Joshua “Super Josh”Culbreath are each hip hop powerhouses in their own right. Lady Em as a popper and house dancer, and Super Josh as a formidable B-Boy. Both tour with Rennie Harris PureMovement and Culbreath has worked with Guggenheim recipient Raphael Xaiver for years.
Together, over the past year, Pietruszka and Culbreath have created Snack Break Movement Arts; specializing in street dance-inspired performance works made for the concert stage. Snack Break uses theater spaces and contemporary movement practices to expand how audiences consume street dance. Truth or Dare is a new work that re-considers an old game, challenging the social binaries that are implicit in Pietruszka and Culbreath mutual stage presence. With playful text, audience participation, and movement poetry, the show asks performers and audience members to consider the revealing nature of vulnerability, the visceral nature of participation, and the consequences that come along with choosing a path.
Founded in 2021, Snack Break was first created as an evening-length, virtual concert dance series that showcased the works of various artists from across the country. Snack break’s goal amidst the pandemic was to keep hip-hop-inspired performance works on the “concert stage,” while also generating revenue for participating artists in a time of crisis. Snack Break seeks to challenge the social binaries that are implicit in their mutual stage presence through choreographic works that showcase a playful relationship between text, audience participation, and moving poetry.
Truth or Dare produced in collaboration with Urban Movement Arts will allow street dance to be showcased in a way that demands the respect it deserves through individuality, creativity, and innovation. We hope to inspire like-mindedness that suggests a career in the arts does not have to follow a certain path. Snack Break believes Urban Movement Arts is truly a vessel for hip-hop education and artistic exploration, and we are honored to be working alongside them to create Truth or Dare.
Emily Pietruszka began dancing professionally in 2015 after graduating with her BFA in Dance from The University of Colorado at Boulder. She began touring with Rennie Harris Puremovement in 2018. Pietruszka has shown her own work in Philadelphia, PA at the “Illadelph” street dance festival, “The Come Together Festival” hosted by Koresh Dance, “Here and Now vol. II” hosted by W.O.R.X, and as a guest choreographer at Franklin & Marshall College (PA). Emily has taught and guest lectured in various contexts including Mark Morris Dance Group, New Visions for Public Schools, California State University, The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, Princeton University, and Rennie Harris University’s street dance certification program. Currently residing in Philly, Emily teaches at Philadelphia’s own street dance education studio, Urban Movement Arts. She operates her own online personal training business, Embodied by Em.
Through his mother’s influence, Josh Culbreath started dancing at the age of 5. By the age of 7, Josh’s journey in Bboying began after watching movies such as BREAKIN’ and Beat Street. In middle school, Josh got involved with a street dance group called KRS Ent., which he credits for introducing him to performing onstage in a synchronized group setting. In high school, Josh started practicing with Philly’s local breakin’ scene to further his breakin’ skill and knowledge. Since 2009, Josh has been performing with Rennie Harris Puremovement, and Raphael Xavier, who has recently been exploring the movement of breakin’ on an aging body. Today, Josh is the founder and an active member of Retro Flow Crew, who represent the breakin’ scenes of Philadelphia and New Jersey. He was also named one of the “Top 25 Artists to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2018. Josh was invited to be a guest choreographer at Franklin and Marshall College in the Fall of 2021. Josh has showcased his own work in places such as York College, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, the Come Together Festival hosted by Koresh Dance, and The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Truth or Dare
Friday May 13, 2022
Fringe Arts | 140 N Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106