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Penn Live Arts Blog / June 2021

Two big announcements

Posted June 29, 2021

We welcome you back to our theatres to share in the tremendous joy of live performances in our 21/22 season. It is a redefining moment for us as we begin a multi-year celebration of our 50th anniversary, announcing not only a new season but a new identity that proudly encompasses all that we offer to the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia region. This exciting new chapter honors our legacy, strengthens our connection to Penn and begins a transformative future.

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. Read more...

Recent Highlights: Apr – Jun 2021

Posted June 23, 2021

Family World Premieres Virtual Stage Philadelphia Debuts New Music Latin Jazz Jazz Film Dance Penn Live Arts Debuts

Kun-Yang Lin performing The Wind in our Zellerbach Theatre, Apr 22, 2021
As our country began to see a light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, arts lovers were eager to process feelings and emotions through music and dance performances. The final weeks of our spring season offered up just such an opportunity through a host of evocative programs. Here are some highlights.

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. Read more...

#MyAnnenbergStory continues to grow

Posted June 15, 2021

Dr. Mauro Calcagno shares his #MyAnnenbergStory.
“I spent a lot of time as a young patron in theaters like the one I work in now. My heart swells with nostalgia every time I watch a performer take to the stage.” And our hearts are also full as we continue to receive touching #MyAnnenbergStory submissions like this one from our Front of House Manager, Kathleen.

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. Read more...

5 Questions with Wang Lu

Posted June 9, 2021

New Music World Premieres

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.

Read more...

ListenUp: World Music

Posted June 2, 2021

Music World Music Penn Live Arts Recommends

Angélique Kidjo
We revisit the vibrant sounds and rhythms of musicians from around the globe in our updated world music playlist. The playlist features musical gems from several Annenberg Center favorites: the queen of Afro-pop, Angélique Kidjo, Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, Zimbabwean a cappella group Nobuntu, the traditional Irish band Danú, and the electrifying Mexican-American singer Lila Downs.