P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
September 11, 2003
Philadanco's Exuberant Dancers Come to North Adams for Two October Performances
(North Adams, Mass.) Continuing a partnership that launched at the Museum's 1999 opening, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival teams up again with MASS MoCA to present Philadanco on Saturday, October 11, at 8 P.M. and Sunday, October 12, at 2:00 P.M. The performance will take place at MASS MoCA's Hunter Theater. This modern dance troupe, founded by Joan Myers Brown in 1970, is widely acclaimed, with critics saying, "[the dancers'] blazing physicality and commitment light up the stage" (Village Voice); "sheer pleasure in dancing radiates from this modern-dance troupe" (New York Times); and "There's no more exuberant company to help you make the essential connection between joyous dance and joy in general" (Philadelphia Weekly).
This youthful and vigorous troupe emphasizes innovative works by American choreographers. At MASS MoCA highlights will include "Hand Singing Song," a dance choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (founder of Urban Bush Women who appeared at MASS MoCA in 2000) that begins with the "dap," the hand-to-fist greeting the Black Panther Movement used to express solidarity, and delves into how hand gestures are imbued with cultural symbolism, specifically for African Americans. Other pieces on the program are "Labess II," a dance drawn from a joyous place of self-acceptance and set to captivating music by the acclaimed Afro-Euro a cappella women's vocal ensemble Zap Mama; "Exotica," choreographed by Ronald K. Brown, an excerpt from the full evening work Lessons, which features thrilling sections of gospel and drum-powered African-inflected movement; and finally, Christopher Huggins' "Enemy Behind the Gates," featuring a driving percussive score by Steve Reich. Dancers start march-like, then break out into swirls and scissor-legged extensions, their momentum gradually increasing in rhythm to the music. Teeming with entrances and exits, the performance builds to a frenzy for a bring-the-house-down finale.
Philadanco has been described by many as a company with unparalleled energy and superior technical ability. Celebrating its 33rd season, the Company continues to thrill audiences across America and throughout the world with adventurous choreography, bright new talent and dances treasured by aficionados everywhere. The Company has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Louis Bellson Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and with world-renowned pop celebrities. Philadanco has also made several national television appearances. They have performed at New York's Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, Jacob's Pillow, the Joyce Theatre, the Kennedy Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Delacorte Theater, as well as appearances throughout Europe and Asia. The Company has collaborated with a long list of acclaimed choreographers including Milton Myers, Talley Beatty, Donald Byrd, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Blondell Cummings, David Brown, Elisa Monte, Ron K. Brown.
Joan Myers Brown is the Executive/Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts. She serves as honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, an organization she established in 1991. She is also founder of the International Conference of Black Dance Companies. She is a distinguished visiting professor at the University of the Arts, which bestowed upon her an honorary doctorate of fine arts, and is a member of the dance faculty at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Listed in Who's Who in America and described as an "innovator and communicator," Brown has made significant contributions to the national and international arts communities.
Philadanco is co-sponsored by The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA and the Valley Advocate and co-presented with Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.
Tickets for Philadanco are $25 orchestra and $21 mezzanine. In addition to regular adult tickets, there are special discounted tickets available for Sunday's family matinee. Special pricing of $16 is available for seniors and students, and tickets for children 16 and under are just $10. MASS MoCA members and Jacob's Pillow members and subscribers receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M., closed Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release