October 23-25, 2014
Smart, funny and personable, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt were Royal Ballet principal dancers who started making behind-the-scenes videos of their travels, rehearsals and down time while on tour. These wildly-engaging videos made their way onto BBC-TV, making them instant celebrities. Expanding their artistic horizons, they formed a company of two with occasional guest artists, incorporating their funny and insightful videos, and commissioned repertory by internationally-known choreographers. The Ballet Boyz was a popular and artistic success on tour and has charmed Dance Celebration audiences on two previous occasions. Now morphed into a troupe of ten male dancers, Ballet Boyz has become the resident company of London's Sadler Wells Theatre. Ballet Boyz helps kick off the season on a very high note indeed. Works include ballets by Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett, resident choreographer for the Royal Ballet
"The body beautiful meets serious talent." London Evening Standard
"It took the entire train ride home for my adrenaline to stop pumping. Wow!" The Daily Express
"Viscerally thrilling..." The Telegraph
November 13-15, 2014
Dance Celebration audiences who were thrilled by Batsheva Dance Company and Inbal Pinto Dance Company will surely enjoy another of Israel's outstanding dance companies with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. KCDC will sweep you away with a focused emotional and physical assault on your senses. With an explosive bundle of creative energy that engulfs the stage and beyond, the program will include the Philadelphia premiere of If At All, a full-length work choreographed by Artistic Director Rami Be'er.
"The committed performance of the cast and the purity of the choreography will win you over." Anna Kisselgoff - The New York Times
"The 16 ferocious members of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company appeared to be going through a series of trials as they stretched and twisted their bodies into space-eating shapes, enacting vivid, visceral rituals of remarkable power, grace and beauty." www.dallasnews.com
"Rich creativity... magnificent dancing and imaginative use of the stage elements" Plank Magazine
December 4-6, 2014
A true Dance Celebration tradition and series favorite, Parsons Dance returns with an expanded artistic scope. Parsons has invited other choreographers to set their work on his company for a new initiative called Generation Now, offering a refreshing new take on a much admired company. His collaborators include Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey and Natalie Lomonte who has worked with Parsons, MOMIX, Pilobolus and "Spiderman" the musical. "Caught" will be included in the program to ensure new audience members don't miss Parsons' signature piece.
"Great dancing ... Now in his third decade of presenting dance, David Parsons remains at the top of his game." Oberon's Grove
"Parsons' 10 dancers are all wonderful: They cloak their super-fine techniques in a kind of charming ease, their athleticism in an offhand sensuality." Village Voice
January 15-17, 2015
Young, fearless and extremely-inventive, Miami's Rosie Herrera explores social issues and relationships through her Hispanic heritage perspective and with a satiric humor, employing outrageous props and set pieces to make her point. Herrera offers a fresh face in dance who has something important and meaningful to say, while engaging audiences in her sexy, hip, South Beach culture. She is smart, sassy and bound to become a favorite. Program features Various Stages of Drowning and Dining Alone.
Herrera is "one of the strongest and most original talents to emerge from Miami." The Miami Herald
"Herrera's show is also inventive, creative and filled with life. Whether they are laughing with joy, or crying in pain, this cast is fearless." Examiner.com
February 12-14, 2015
Black Grace is a company of aboriginal dancers from New Zealand that meshes a contemporary movement vocabulary and esthetic with a raw primitive energy that often stuns audiences with its intensity. The company offers an exciting experience that gives an insight into its Pacific Islanders' culture, with works ranging from stomping and vibrant pieces set to tribal percussive sounds to lyrical and almost balletic movements performed on more traditional scores from composers such as Bach and Glass.
"Powerfully elegant and possessed of technical finesse of almost archaic rawness." Jörg Scalber, Nahe-Zeitung, Germany 2012
"A polished, pungent, bone-crunchingly physical and perfectly executed alchemy of music, muscle and motion" Bernadette Rae, New Zealand Herald, 2010
March 19-21, 2015
Jessica Lang has been making dances for major ballet and contemporary companies for ten years. This extremely talented choreographer, who happens to be a native of our Delaware Valley, formed her company two years ago to feature her creative output. Her work is assembled with such craftsmanship that one marvels at the structure, musicality, concept and invention. Lang has forged a new style based on a ballet discipline that is classy, a tribute to the past and an exploration of the new.
Program TBD Lines Cubed or From Foreign Land and People, The Calling.
"..the aesthetics of Jessica Lang Dance is pure gorgeousness. In a world filled with so much ugliness, there's much to be said about dances that make the world a more beautiful place to live." Houston Press.com
"carefully wrought, visually striking dances" The New Yorker
April 16-18, 2015
RUBBERBANDance is the incarnation of Artistic Director Victor Quijada's life's work and personal journey, having made a few stops on the Dance Celebration series along the way. His troupe of six dancers, who expertly execute his unique style of hip hop and ballet, is a resident company of the Place des Arts in Montréal. Having grown up in Los Angeles, Quijada went to the High School of Performing Arts at 16 years of age, and was already an outstanding hip hop dancer while frequenting local clubs. He was on tour with Twyla Tharp just three years later, after which he became a principal dancer for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and earned a reputation as one of Canada's most respected classical ballet dancers. The company returns with his ever-evolving artistic vision with Empirical Quotient.
"the formal clarity and controlled elegance of ballet (and) the raw, athletic exuberance of street dance." Victoria Looseleaf, Los Angeles Times. May 9, 2008
"a fluid fusion of hip hop–inspired movement and contemporary dance" Times Union
May 7-10, 2015
The extremely popular Pilobolus returns with all new work guaranteed to offer another program of enchanting entertainment and sheer joy. Their tradition of employing gymnastics, contemporary movement, strange props, humor, bungee cords, film projections and unusual costumes creates marvelously imaginative and compelling works. A Sunday matinee has been scheduled to accommodate the anticipated demand.
"If the dance world has a summer movie blockbuster equivalent, it must be Pilobolus." Associated Press
"Grace meets physical agility to create movement that is as lyrical as it is astonishing." The Sunday Oregonian
"There are other companies that take art to extremes, but Pilobolus proves once more that it does it best." Philadelphia Inquirer
December 11-14, 2014
Mummenschanz mesmerizes and mystifies audiences of all ages and ethnicities with its zany and fun-loving pieces that tell universal visual stories using non-verbal dance-theater. For 42 years, this Swiss troupe has created a universe of characters using props, masks and the human body to evoke a rollercoaster of human emotions. Performed in silence, its programs pack 25 timeless skits filled with awe, humor, invention and wonder. Employing everyday objects like toilet paper, undulating tubes, an oversized hand puppet, a giant ocher slinky, a Kermit the Frog like character with a long red tongue, a metallic sheet that transforms into a giant face and a huge shaped blob that rolls and falls into the audience, the Mumms "transcend words and culture and cut straight to the heart of what it means to be human." (Cape Times, March 4 2011) A true family show that will entertain everyone from 8-80.
"Witty madness...dazzling and delightful" New York Times
"What Mummenschanz does so extraordinarily well is create its own comic universe--a place of constant wonder and ingenuity." Boston Herald
November 20-23, 2014
Spain's most successful touring flamenco company brings its soulful, visceral and mysterious blend of dance, song and music to world stages. Performed by a stellar cast of 10 acclaimed artists, "This is a company with a bleeding heart, set ablaze by their united, unadulterated love of movement, and of performing as a cohesive whole." (The Berkshire Review for the Arts) The company will perform the Philadelphia premiere of Antigona, a full length theatrical interpretation of the text in Sophocles' classic tragedy by director/choreographer Martin Santangelo in collaboration with composer Antonio Rodriguez, principal dancer Soledad Barrio, co-director Lee Breuer (Mabou Mines) and visual artist Mary Frank.
"It is the depths of the soul and its unfathomable mystery to which Noche Flamenca aspire. They confront nothing less than the mystery of life. Life does not defeat them. It humbles them." The New York Observer
Welcome to Dance Affiliates!
I want to share with you my excitement about Dance Celebration 2014/15, the 32nd season at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
Ten companies from seven countries, representing an array of styles and esthetics, bound to engage your senses and quicken your pulse, are on tap. We are calling the season Visionary Voices.
The BalletBoyz is an outstanding all-male troupe from London, the resident company of Sadler's Wells Theatre, performing the works of celebrated European choreographers and sharing its behind-the-scene process through intimate and funny film segments.
The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company from Israel is an ensemble of super-high energy dancers performing the work of its artistic director Rami Be'er. It is considered one of the top international touring companies and will be making its Philadelphia debut.
Parsons Dance has been with us many times and never disappoints. Parsons has invited and mentored young talented choreographers to set work on the company to be presented alongside work of his own, including his signature piece "Caught".
Rosie Herrera is a South Beach, Miami choreographer who has burst on the dance scene with work that can best be described as clever, funny, satiric and just downright fun. While all this is going on, she is making very pointed comments on society and issues of the day. Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre will be making its Philadelphia debut.
RUBBERBANDance Group, a resident dance company of the Place Des Arts in Montreal, has made its mark by fusing hip hop and ballet into a new dance form as a direct expression of the extraordinary talents of its artistic director Victor Quijada, who just happens to excel at both styles.
Black Grace, a New Zealand company of Pacific Islanders, defies stereotype and expectation. Through the prism of its distinctive culture, it takes on what at first appears as western contemporary dance. However, what emerges is an intense energy and commitment that explodes the movement, and we are confronted with a fierceness that is riveting.
Jessica Lang could be the artist child of Twyla Tharp and Paul Taylor. She is an enormous talent that honors structure, form and beautiful movement, creating a completely satisfying experience. Exquisite, haunting and stunning just begin to describe her work. After being commissioned by many of the major ballet and contemporary companies to create new work, she has formed her own company. Jessica Lang Dance will be making its Philadelphia debut.
Pilobolus is perhaps our most popular dance company, in part because it is clever, droll, dramatic and always reinventing itself. The company commands a big fan response because it deserves it. The company will be bringing new work as usual.
Two specials have been added to the 2014/15 season. Mummenschanz, the Swiss physical theatre troupe, has been enchanting audiences of all generations. This tradition continues as it celebrates its 50th anniversary season as the "adult Sesame Place" you can take your children to. Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca represents the finest in traditional flamenco dancing. The music, the singing, the exquisite suffering, ole!
In short time tickets will be available along with video excerpts and more programming detail. Stay tuned.
Randy Swartz, Artistic Director