This spring, the first annual nEW Festival celebrates the city's finest cutting-edge dance theater on the dynamic Avenue of the Arts. By relying upon a cooperative artistic model, The nEW Festival emerges as a distinct performance initiative for dance theater. The festival provides a means for the dance community to become part of the vision and reality for Philadelphia's diverse cultural offerings. The festival embraces the idea of cooperative and collaborative art-making, establishing a forum for creative exchange between artists, and honoring the aesthetic lineage of Philadelphia and other regional artists.
nEW 2005 Festival Participants
Paule Turner / c o u r t
Performance Dates: Wed 6/1 @ 8 p.m., Friday 6/3 @ 9 p.m., Saturday 6/4 @ 7 p.m. Sunday 6/5 @ 8 p.m.
TOUCHED is an abstract non-linear narrative that dares to push the pain of being a gay African-American performance artist to the surface and unapologetically reveal the bruises and blood under the scars. Named "Best New Dance Company" by Philadelphia Magazine and among "Top 25 To Watch" by Dance Magazine, Paule Turner produces dance/physical theater works, which tackle the topics of racism, sexuality, lost love, and betrayal.
*Intended for mature audiences: strong language and full frontal nudity.
Group Motion Dance Company
Performance Dates: Thursday 6/2 @ 8 p.m., Friday 6/3 @ 7 p.m.,
Saturday 6/4 @ 9 p.m., Sunday 6/5 @ 3 p.m.
Group Motion's multimedia dance theater performance takes an investigative and compassionate look at the phenomenon of screens. From chat rooms and Internet dating to video games, screens create a virtual reality in contemporary culture. Screens was conceived and directed by Artistic Director Manfred Fischbeck and features guest artists Laina Fischbeck and Silvana Cardell. Group Motion was originally founded in 1962 as Gruppe Motion Berlin, a chamber dance company evolving from the Mary Wigman School of Dance. After relocating to Philadelphia in 1968 under the co-direction of Brigitta Herrmann, Hellmut Gottschild, and Manfred Fischbeck, the company was quick to receive critical success. Now under the sole artistic direction of Fischbeck, Group Motion is known for its innovations in multimedia dance theater and a wide array of national and international collaborations with artists in all fields. In addition to presenting annual home seasons and touring internationally, Group Motion has continually expanded its scope as a performing arts organization with its performance series, workshops, and the co-creation of the Kumquat Dance Center.
Headlong Dance Theater
Performance Dates: Wed 6/8 @ 8 p.m., Thursday 6/9 @ 8 p.m., Friday 6/10 @ 9 p.m., Saturday 6/11 @ 7 p.m.
Headlong Dance Theater's Mixed Tape for a Bad Year features a number of world premiere dances including "Hippie Elegy," a comic, summer-of-love-inspired duet, and "Yonder," a haunting suite set to traditional music from the American South. Headlong Dance Theater is collaboration between dancer/choreographers David Brick, Amy Smith, and Andrew Simonet. Over the years, Headlong has created more than 35 dances, many of which are known for their witty takes on contemporary culture. Headlong has performed nationally and internationally, and its work is deeply committed to collaboration, humor, and formal experimentation.
Subcircle/Laura Peterson Choreography
Performance Dates: Friday 6/10 @ 7 p.m., Saturday 6/11 @ 9 p.m., Sunday 6/12 @ 3 p.m.
Subcircle: Subcircle is the collaboration between choreographer Niki Cousineau and composer/designer Jorge Cousineau. Founded in 1998, the company is committed to creating site specific works that focus on changing the way in which audiences view dance and theater by altering the environment that they inhabit through a combination of original music, movement, set and lighting. Somewhere Close To Now is a nEW solo work performed by Niki Cousineau with video, set, sound, and lighting design by Jorge Cousineau. The work, in which a woman has found a way to dissect time by opening portals and entering them through books, is inspired by Alan Lightman's novel, Einstein's Dreams. The work was shaped through a workshop process with accomplished artists Dan Rothenberg from Pig Iron Theatre Company, OBIE Award-winning Director Whit McLaughlin from New Paradise Laboratories, choreographer Laura Peterson, and Brigitta Herrmann, co-founder of Group Motion. This piece was funded by Dance Advance, a grant program of PEW Charitable Trusts, administered by the University of the Arts.
Laura Peterson Choreography: Security is a new multimedia work by Laura Peterson Choreography that addresses society's current obsession with tracking each other. The performance combines site-specific choreography filmed on surveillance cameras with live performance and an absurdist mix of French go-go songs. This four- person dance company based in New York creates absurdist multimedia dance theater with cartoon-like costumes.
Philadelphia Dance Project's Motion Pictures
Program Screening I: "Highlights from Dance on Camera Festival 2005, Lincoln Center, N.Y." Tuesday 5/31 @ 8 p.m., Sunday 6/5 @ 5 p.m.
Program Screening II: "Shorts Blowout" curated by Terry Fox, PDP, and Gretjen Clausing, Scribe Video Center Tuesday 6/7 @ 8 p.m., Sunday 6/12 @ 5 p.m.
"Dance and the Camera" Workshop: Saturday 6/4 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., UArts School of Dance, $50
Philadelphia Dance Projects contributes to the cultivation of dance art in Philadelphia by providing professional development and services for dance and movement artists, enrichment for their audiences, and learning experiences for youth through various projects and presentations. In 2003 and 2004, PDP partnered with Film At The Prince to present "Motion Pictures," two mini-festival weekends focused on the interaction between dance, film, and video.
This year's "Motion Pictures" will be included in The nEW Festival and features selections from the Lincoln Center "Dance On Camera" Festival and a special day-long workshop with Carmella Vassar Johnson sponsored by Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia.
Performance Date: Monday 6/6 @ 8 p.m.
DanceHouse began in 1999 as a six-week dance concert and workshop for emerging and established artists to support nEW work and artistic development. DanceHouse continues to engage artists in collaborative exploration of new work, and provides a venue for performance and dialogue about the work. DanceHouse serves as a feeder program to the nEW company programming and is peer mentored throughout the year. This year's DanceHouse features independent artists, Meghan Durham, Megan Bridge, Elisa Lane, Rob Davidson, Phil Grosser, and Melanie Stewart.
Dance Theater Lab
Performance Date: Sunday 6/12 @ 7 p.m.
Dance Theatre Lab is a do-it-yourself collective of independent performing artists whose styles range from experimental dance to cabaret to masked theater. Twice a month, Lab artists get together to watch each others' work, share feedback, and exchange skills as they prepare to bring their work to performance. This year's nEW Festival features a variety works, sure to titillate, challenge, and inspire dance and theater audiences alike.