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Penn Live Arts Blog / By / Caroline Leipf

Celebrating National Dance Day

Posted September 17, 2021

Caroline Leipf, our Assistant Director for Education & Engagement, learning the 2019 National Dance Day routine at the Kennedy Center.
Celebrating dance is always important. Dance is a universal language with endless physical, mental, social and spiritual benefits. And this fall, we have even more reason to celebrate dance as it is returning to our theatres!

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! Read more...

Until we meet again (in person), Philadelphia Children’s Festival

Posted April 29, 2021

Photo from our 2019 Philadelphia Children's Festival
Regrettably, for the second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent us from holding the Philadelphia Children’s Festival. We eagerly look forward to spring 2022 when we can welcome your families for the Festival again. In lieu of the Festival, which would have been this week, we will offer children and their grown-ups the magic of The Amazing Max through Zoom. What I love about Max and his Virtual Magic Academy is his ability to connect with children. This virtual experience is so much more than watching Max do tricks, it’s doing them along with him. And, in my own personal experience, this one hour on the screen results in many hours, even days, of being an audience to your child’s magic practice OFF the screen.

In this blog post, I am happy to shine a spotlight on our amazing PlazaMania partners, who normally fill our lobby and Outdoor Plaza with fun, interactive arts activities. Read more...

Find wonder and fun with Flip Fabrique’s Blizzard

Posted March 12, 2021

Circus Family

Photo by Sébastien Durocher
Families, this is just for you—an hour of free-spirited fun and wonder in a performance for kids and their adults of all ages. Our contemporary circus friends Flip Fabrique are sharing their current production Blizzard for one night only, Saturday, March 20 at 7 PM. You can watch for free via YouTube here.

This piece is special in its own right, but its timing feels apropos. As we reflect on our last “normal” week one year ago, I realize that Blizzard was the last performance I attended in person, outside of the Annenberg Center. It was wonderful to see Blizzard at TOHU in Montréal in the winter snow of December 2019. There is nostalgia in this piece for the Annenberg Center too. We were planning to present Blizzard live on our stage in April 2021. It was set to be announced when the world and all performing arts shut down in March 2020. We were not able to share that announcement with you, nor able to share the show with you in person. But now, through the generosity of the company’s special virtual presentation, we may share this performance with all of you in some form! Read more...

#BecauseOfArtsEd amidst a pandemic

Posted October 15, 2020

Penn Live Arts Recommends

While we greatly miss seeing all of you in our theatres this fall, we particularly feel the absence of our youth audiences at our weekday Student Discovery matinees. We continually witness the impact of arts education, and while access to these wonderful programs already had barriers, the pandemic has doubled down on those challenges. Class trips are cancelled, teaching artists and programs are reduced or nonexistent and theatre doors are indefinitely closed.

Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts (AFTA) said during National Arts in Education Week this September, “2020 is unlike any other year. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has threatened the traditional delivery of education and, with it, arts education. With 63 percent of community arts organizations having severe financial loss and 90 percent have cancelled events, and most schools currently pursuing a virtual learning environment, there is an immediate challenge to ensuring that the arts can maintain their valued place in the school day and after school as well.” Read more...

Just keep dancing!

Posted August 27, 2020

Special Features Penn Live Arts Recommends Dance

Readers, this week we invite YOU to take a dance class with New York City Ballet Principal Daniel Ulbricht. Really? Really! We recently presented a masterclass with Daniel, and he has generously recorded a ballet class for us to share with our entire Annenberg Center family. Whether you are most comfortable onstage or in the audience, whether you would have stepped into a studio to take a class or not, this is a virtual opportunity to stand up from your screen and move in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Masterclasses with visiting dance companies and artists are a longstanding tradition at the Annenberg Center. Penn and other university students from around Philadelphia have the opportunity to spend quality time in our dance studio with some of the best of the best several times each season. So, this August, during a time when our mainstage would usually be dark and the dancers would usually be at summer dance festivals or intensives, we seized the chance to adapt this into a virtual format. Read more...