Penn Live Arts Blog / February 2021

5 Questions with Thomas Kraines & Kinan Abou-afach

Posted February 22, 2021

New Music

Cellist Thomas Kraines and cellist/oudist Kinan Abou-afach are joining forces on our stage on March 4. Kraines has graced our stage numerous times with the Daedalus Quartet, Penn’s quartet-in-residence. Abou-afach, whose musical output champions Arabic and Syrian traditions, was supposed to perform for us alongside the Daedalus Quartet back in April 2020 but that show was cancelled due to the pandemic. We are so excited these excellent musicians will share our stage soon, but first, let’s learn more about this duo in a special 5 Questions double feature. Read more...

Laughter, Love and a Lobby

Posted February 22, 2021

Nearly 50 years ago, the first chapter of a love story was written in our Zellerbach Theatre when our Board member Rick Feintuch, W’74, PAR’05, PAR’08 and his wife Merry Feintuch, W’74, PAR’05, PAR’08 went on their first date, leading to a long-lasting love and friendship. We are happy to share that with a recent gift from the couple, the new Feintuch Family Lobby at the Annenberg Center will officially be dedicated this spring as part of our 50th anniversary celebration.

Explore Rick and Merry's story >>

Digital dance abounds in February

Posted February 19, 2021

Penn Live Arts Recommends Dance Virtual Stage

Photo of Dance Theatre of Harlem by François Rousseau
We’re always eager to watch more dance. Luckily, companies near and far are continually producing new works and sharing past treasures. There’s particularly lots to love this month as virtual dance offerings are plentiful. Join us in enjoying these while they’re available!

Mark Morris Dance Group
Dance On! Video Vault archives
Available now

The Mark Morris Dance Group has reprised its Dance On! series from the summer which features archival collections of Morris’ rarely performed works. This month, two former company members have selected clips and excerpts from Rock of Ages (2004), I Don’t Want to Love (1996), Rhymes With Silver (1997) and V (2001).

Watch now


Checking in with some family favorites

Posted February 16, 2021

Circus Family Theatre World Music

Photo of MUMMENSCHANZ by Marco Hartmann
For decades, our family programming, Student Discovery Series and annual Philadelphia Children’s Festival have featured artists from around the world for performances that are at once entertaining and educational. As we miss hearing the delighted giggles and exuberant applause from our youngest audience members, we thought we’d check in with a few family favorites from the past two years and bring the show to you virtually. Enjoy a mesmerizing swing act in the Las Vegas desert by Cirque Mechanics; a vibrant exploration of Mexican music, dance and costuming by Mexico Beyond Mariachi; or a classic appearance by MUMMENSCHANZ from The Muppet Show in 1976. We can’t wait to see bright, smiling faces of all ages in our theatres again soon! Read more...

5 Questions with Michael Novak

Posted February 9, 2021


We continue our series aiming to discover more about Annenberg Center artists and others whom we find interesting in only five questions. Today, we hear from Michael Novak, Artistic Director of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Novak danced with the company from 2010-2019 and became the second Artistic Director upon the death of Paul Taylor in 2018, working to continue Taylor’s vision and nurture the future of modern dance. Read on to learn more and join us for this beloved company’s performance on February 18, including an interactive, post-show Q&A with Novak himself!

1. What is your earliest memory of dancing?

My earliest memory of dancing was "choreographing" (a term I use loosely) a dance with a friend to a song in their basement to some great tunes from the 80s. We were probably seven or eight years old. I don’t think we had any clue what we were doing, but I remember we had a lot of fun. Read more...

Paul Taylor: A Video Retrospective

Posted February 2, 2021


Photo by Paul B. Goode
The Paul Taylor Dance Company has graced our stage many times over the years. So, while we eagerly await the company’s performance on February 18, we’re taking a look at the amazing breadth of Taylor’s choreography over the years. Enjoy!

Esplanade (1975): Footage from 2020

See this performed live on our stage on February 18!