Celebrating National Dance Day
September 18 is National Dance Day. Join the party and dance wherever you are. I will be dancing in my living room with my children. How about you? To learn some new moves and participate in the #NationalDanceDay community across the nation, here is the official 2021 National Dance Day routine tutorial taught by Brian & Scott Nicholson. No experience is necessary so give it a try!
An exciting return to being together
As a first step, our staff has reunited at the Annenberg Center, and it’s been wonderful to see each other in-person and continue the preparations to welcome you back to our theatres.
Film returns this fall
In September, our On the Environment films address climate change from a variety of perspectives and locations. In Landfall (2020), we examine what happens when recovery efforts and global capitalism collide in Puerto Rico while in Titixe (2018), we witness the deep links between the loss of a beloved family member, the loss of cultural tradition, and consequently, the deterioration of an agricultural environment. Two short films, The Lake and The Lake (2019) and When the Lionfish Came (2015), highlight the impact of the obliteration of cultural and environmental resources.
A Summer Hiatus
With the unveiling of our new name and new season of events, our Penn Live Arts blog is taking a brief summer break. The months of July and August will be spent gearing up for our exciting return to live, in-person events in September.
This blog has been a wonderful way to keep in touch during the pandemic. We’ve gotten to know past and present artists through our 5 Questions series, featured numerous guest writers from the arts and Penn communities and had opportunities to spotlight some of our significant events like the Feintuch Family Lobby dedication and the kick-off of our multi-year 50th anniversary celebration with #MyAnnenbergStory. And all of this will continue right here in September when we welcome audiences back into our theatres for the 21/22 season.
Two big announcements
Welcome back for live performance.
If there is anything the past year has reinforced, it is our passion for live performance. Simply put, it is core to our mission. We are grateful and proud to have kept artists performing live on the virtual stage, bringing you numerous world premieres and debuts as one of the few arts organizations in the city to offer real-time, digital performances. While we now have proof that we don’t need to be confined to a physical space to connect with each other and our artists, our 21/22 season is a first step on our ambitious path, as we present a wider variety of programming for a wider variety of audiences. The best artists, from iconic legends to rising stars, grace our stage with many U.S. and Philadelphia premieres. We feature beloved dance companies, jazz greats, a brand-new, family-friendly cirque series and even an innovative, site-specific work outside. Subscriptions are available now, offering up to 35% off regular pricing and great subscriber benefits, including free ticket exchanges, discounted parking, deals at local restaurants and much more.
Recent Highlights: Apr – Jun 2021
Rennie Harris Puremovement gave us a powerful, message-driven performance, including works about police violence and the Black male experience. In its review of the performance, The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “His narrative voice is as compelling here as it is in his storied contemporary dance career with Philadanco and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.” Viewers commented that it was “mesmerizing” and “showcasing community pain.” Learn more about Philadelphia-native Harris in our 5 Questions article or this Philadelphia Tribune profile.
#MyAnnenbergStory continues to grow
As you might have seen, April 8th of this year marked the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Annenberg Center. To start the multi-year celebration, we kicked off #MyAnnenbergStory as a way for us to showcase 50 years of fond memories, special occasions and unique Annenberg Center experiences.
5 Questions with Wang Lu
We are thrilled to be partnering with The Crossing for The Month of Moderns 2021, offering three outdoor music programs performed outdoors across the Philadelphia area. This annual summertime festival features numerous world and U.S. premieres, including the At which point by composer Wang Lu. Based on Forrest Gander’s raw, brutally honest poem Beckoning, the score is described by The Crossing’s conductor Donald Nally as an “ongoing, florid recitative – a musical language bursting with potential song yet intent on the concentrated delivery of words. Transparent and fragile, each phrase from one singer to another, across the rolling meadow of Awbury Arboretum.” Let’s get to know Lu in five questions!
What first got you into music?
I grew up in a musical family. I saw how much my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents enjoyed singing Chinese opera, folk songs and playing accordion together with their friends. I always associated music-making with the people I love and our community.