Corrections or additions?
This article by Nicole Plett was prepared for the January 21, 2004
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Now the City of Dance Boom!
Dance companies large and small are thriving in Philadelphia. The city
today is home to more than 40 companies and 2,000 professional
dancers. While the city’s marquee attractions – Pennsylvania Ballet,
Philadanco, and Rennie Harris – can write their own tickets, the city
has devised a novel way to bring its plethora of small, independent
companies before the public, and it’s called Dance Boom!
The annual festival mixes and matches two or three companies on a
mixed bill and professionally produces the resulting torrent of dance
over a three-week period at the Wilma Theater. The third annual
DanceBoom! launches on Wednesday, January 21, with dance shows
continuing every Wednesday through Sunday, to Sunday, February 8.
This year’s festival centers on the plural dance perspectives that
call the city home. It showcases a significant group of city companies
that have had the opportunity to collaborate with artists in other
countries. These dancer-choreographers draw from a broad palette of
dance forms, and the season includes traditional dance and the
reconstruction of a classic work from the modern dance canon.
DanceBoom! opening night features Headlong Dance Theater and Group
Motion Dance Company, two of the city’s best known and long-lived
modern companies, both of which function as collectives. Headlong,
which has been produced in New York’s hip venues and come away with
its coveted Bessie Award, was co-founded by three friends from
Wesleyan University – Andrew Simonet, Amy Smith, and David Brick. Next
in the Dance Boom line-up is a multi-cultural evening featuring
choreographers Charles O. Anderson (with his new company Dance Theatre
X), Hip hop artist D. Sabela Grimes, and Japanese American dancer Roko
Also featured in the three-week Dance Boom is Melanie Stewart Dance
Theatre and Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society. The final program
features Subcircle, performing on a bill with Dancefusion, which is
remounting an Anna Sokolow classic, "Time Plus."
"In this year’s festival two things jump out at me," says festival
curator Nick Stuccio. "One is the work being made with international
collaborators from both the Far East and Europe, and the other is the
infusion of dance theater in several works. Each evening provides an
exciting comparison of work based in both modern and traditional
dance." There was a time, says Stuccio, when those Philadelphia
dancers "who gained the slightest bit of quality in their art-making
left to pursue it in other places where there were more resources and
more audience. This is no longer true."
– Nicole Plett
Dance Boom!, Wilma Theater, Broad and Spruce streets, Philadelphia,
215-546-7824. Online at www.wilmatheater.org. Tickets $20; opening
night celebration is $40. Wednesday, January 21, to Sunday, February
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.