Penn Live Arts Blog / September 2020

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted September 28, 2020

World Music Music Latin Roots Latin Jazz Dance Jazz

Photo of Ballet Hispánico by Paula Lobo
September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month, an annual event celebrating the cultural contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. We are proud to serve Philadelphia as a cultural destination that connects you with some of the best Hispanic music and dance artists each season. To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, we wanted to share some video highlights from some of the amazing array of Hispanic artists who have performed on our stages over the past few years. Enjoy! Read more...

5 Questions with Pam Tanowitz

Posted September 22, 2020

Dance Special Features

We continue our series aiming to discover more about Annenberg Center artists and others whom we find interesting in only five questions. Today, we learn more about Pam Tanowitz, who “has long been one of the most formally brilliant choreographers around” (The New York Times). A prolific star of the dance world, Tanowitz is known for taking traditional dance movements and cheekily reconstructing them with limitless possibilities, mischievous musicality and pure emotion. We are thrilled to welcome Tanowitz’ company for its Philadelphia debut on October 15 and are eager to get a glimpse into her choreographic world!

What inspires you to create?

I’m always inspired by music and whatever space I’m creating a work for but I’m most inspired by the people in the studio with me: the dancers. Every one of my dancers is unique and brings something special and particular to my work. My favorite moments in creation are when I’m working with the dancers on solving some sort of “puzzle” (whether it be dealing with specific steps or how they move through space) and they make what they think is a mistake. However, I usually fall in love with their mistakes and more often than not, their “mistakes” become choreography. Read more...

Jamey Hampton, Ashley Roland and the unsurpassable BodyVox

Posted September 15, 2020

Dance Special Features

Photo of Ashley Roland and Jamey Hampton courtesy of BodyVox
Audiences have been wooed for decades by the impressive physicality and larger-than-life theatricality of MOMIX, Pilobolus, I’m So Optimistic (ISO) and BodyVox. Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, the Emmy award-winning choreographers and founders of BodyVox, are a major part of the mayhem, memories and magic comprising this incredible legacy of inventiveness in dance. The husband-and-wife duo, who spent years touring the world with Pilobolus, MOMIX and ISO, founded BodyVox in 1997, since creating at least 30 original shows, 12 films and three operas, encompassing more than 200 original dances.

In 1986, Hampton and Roland appeared in MOMIX’s first performance on the Dance Celebration Monday Night Series. The unforgettable program included Woomen (1983) by Hampton and Daniel Ezralow, Fever (1984) by Roland, and Skiva (1983) and Mr. Seawater’s Pool (1985) by MOMIX founder Moses Pendleton, Hampton, Ezralow and Morleigh Steinberg. Hampton and Roland returned with ISO in 1988 to perform their witty duet piece, Scare Myself, and Captain Tenacity, the hilarious signature solo work in which Roland, dressed as a Velcro-clad superhero, runs, jumps and sticks herself onto a wall, defying gravity to thunderous music by Richard Wagner. Both works reappeared sporadically over the years in BodyVox programs and at Dance Celebration galas. Read more...

T-VOCE goes virtual this fall

Posted September 10, 2020

Family Children's Festival

As many of us navigated the virtual and hybrid back-to-school activities of this week, our friends at Opera Philadelphia announced that T-VOCE will rehearse virtually this fall, providing teens across the city with the chance to safely uplift their minds, bodies and hearts with song. T-VOCE, pronounced "tee-VO-chay" and short for Teen Voices of the City Ensemble, is a free, inclusive choir that uses music to build musicianship and vocal skills, while providing teens ages 13-19 an outlet for self-expression and community. As one of our past Philadelphia Children’s Festival partners, Annenberg Center school and family audiences are likely to recall performances by T-VOCE at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 festivals, including Hip H’opera, a work that combines classical music with hip-hop. Thanks to ArtSmart, Esperanza Dance Ensemble, Fortress Arts Academy, Opera Philadelphia, Play On Philly and Singing City, Philadelphia teens can enjoy choir rehearsals, voice lessons and other workshops in writing, spoken word and more this fall. If you know a local teen or someone that does, spread the word!

5 Questions with Santino Lo

Posted September 8, 2020

Special Features

On tour with a production in Brisbane, Australia // Photo courtesy of Santino Lo
For this installment of our 5 Questions series, we are thrilled to highlight Santino Lo, Artistic Project Manager here at the Annenberg Center. Santino joined our production team in 2017 following his several years as a festival and touring production manager based in New York City. He has worked extensively with choreographers Jonah Bokaer and Marjani Forté-Saunders as well as the River to River Festival and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. Read on to learn more about Santino!

1. What first got you into live event production? Do you have a background in the arts?

Growing up in a family of musicians, concert and opera productions have always been in my periphery. At one point, I wanted to be an orchestral musician. But, as I was graduating and considering grad school, I learned that I really didn’t enjoy auditions. I was fortunate to have attended a college where I had a lot of freedom to work with choreographers and artists of all disciplines. Read more...

Our fall 2020 digital season takes the performance to you

Posted September 1, 2020

Dance Early Music Film Jazz Philadelphia Premieres U.S. Premiere Virtual Stage World Premieres

Martha Graham Dance Company, Photo by Hibbard Nash Photography
We are excited to announce our fall 2020 digital season! Curated and created just for our patrons, our exclusive live performances will bring some of the best dance and music artists from our stage to your home. Also, new for this season, we are pleased that films will be returning to our line-up, broadening our programming and supporting independent film on campus and in West Philadelphia.

Each one-night-only music and dance performance will be broadcast live from our theatre and be followed by a Q&A with the artists. Viewers will have the opportunity to chat live with each other and the performers, forging connections at a time when we all feel so apart. Read on to discover what’s coming to our virtual stage! Read more...