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Stream Pilobolus' classic Gnomen at home

Posted April 22, 2020

Penn Live Arts Recommends Dance

Pilobolus, fondly known for its humorous, eye-popping and mind-boggling use of the human form, made its Annenberg Center debut on the Inaugural Dance Celebration Series in 1983 with 17 subsequent appearances. Audiences continue to be mesmerized by Pilobolus’ unfathomable athletic prowess and fluidity, sculptural beauty and collaborative weight-sharing techniques. Named after a phototropic fungus, Pilobolus broke rules and created a new dance language. Who else could fit 26 people inside a MINI Cooper (making the 2011 Guinness World Record), create a Hyundai Santa Fe with dancers’ bodies or be featured at the 79th Annual Academy Awards®?

Pilobolus shares with home-viewers its powerful and passionate Gnomen, a work that premiered at the Annenberg Center in 1998 and was to be performed April 16-18, 2020. One of the 115 works in Pilobolus’ world-touring repertory, Gnomen features four world-class male dancer/gymnasts set to music by Paul Stillman. Gnomen explores the interconnectivity of the human spirit – the need to touch, heal, and lift one another in challenging times.




Penn alumnus John Legend participates in the #TogetherAtHome Concert Series

Posted April 22, 2020

Music Special Features

As Penn’s center for the performing arts, we were so pleased to see one of our University’s most celebrated alumni, John Legend, participating in the #TogetherAtHome Concert Series. The series, organized by Global Citizen, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a growing group of artists, serves to bring joy, optimism, and a shared sense of humanity during this time of uncertainty and challenge. We certainly felt hopeful watching Legend sing a few tunes with his family close by, from a Stevie Wonder cover, to Beauty and the Beast (at his daughter’s request!), to one of his biggest hits, “All of Me.” Watch a replay of the performance below.

During his time as a student, Legend was President and Music Director of Penn’s oldest, co-ed a cappella group, Counterparts. Days before Penn announced that it was transitioning to remote classes due to COVID-19, Counterparts performed some of their material for Legend over their spring break, in what would soon be one of the group’s final performances with their graduating seniors. Our hearts go out to all of the Penn performing arts groups who had to cancel shows they had been working towards, and especially those who won’t have the opportunity to perform together again once we return to campus. Help us show Penn’s student performers some love and follow < Read more...

Emmet Cohen continues to amaze us

Posted April 21, 2020

Penn Live Arts Recommends Jazz Music

Emmet Cohen, a recent guest at the Annenberg for his Center debut, has already become one of our favorites. After selling out our Harold Prince Theatre last spring with his trio, Emmet continues to amaze us with his innovative approach to making and sharing his music. You can experience the trio’s terrific music making at Emmet’s apartment in Harlem every Monday evening via “Live at Emmet’s Place.” We’ll post these weekly events on our calendar, so be sure to check back regularly to see the latest from this dynamic and charismatic performer. 

Watch Einstein on the Beach through Apr 19

Posted April 16, 2020

Theatre #GLASSFEST Penn Live Arts Recommends New Music

We can’t get enough Philip Glass these days following our memorable #GLASSFEST this past winter. Through April 19, the Grand Théâtre de Genève has provided free viewing access to its full-length production of Einstein on the Beach. Glass and Robert Wilson's groundbreaking opera "has no narration, no plot and follows no biographical intention" (Broadway World), yet draws the viewer in with its poetic, signature Glass progression through time. Co-produced and performed by Swiss theatre group Compagnia Finzi Pasca, Einstein on the Beach opened the Grand Théâtre's 19/20 season.

Watch Here

Virtual Book Tour Discussion with Mark Morris and Wesley Stace

Posted April 16, 2020

Dance Penn Live Arts Recommends

Tune in on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 PM, when the Free Library of Philadelphia hosts legendary dancer, choreographer and director, Mark Morris, and Wesley Stace in a lively virtual discussion on Out Loud, the duo's new, co-written memoir on the life and career of Morris. A longtime friend of the Annenberg Center, Morris was last with us as an unforgettable Artist-in-Residence in 2018. He created over 150 original works for his Mark Morris Dance Group during his impressive career, which also includes a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and 11 honorary doctorates. His co-author, Stace, has received critical acclaim for his novels, as well as recognition for his Cabinet of Wonders variety show that features various performers.

Register Here

Virtual Tour of In the Company of Harold Prince: Broadway Producer, Director, Collaborator

Posted April 16, 2020

Theatre Special Features


In the Company of Harold Prince was a free exhibit at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts that explored the creative trajectory of the late Harold Prince. "Hal," as he was known to those close to him, was a famed Broadway contributor and an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania. Highlights from his career as a Broadway producer and director include West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Sweeney Todd, and Phantom of the Opera.

The exhibit was originally scheduled to run through Mar 31, but was cut short when the museum closed due to COVID-19 precautions. In an effort to make sure the exhibit is still seen, curator Doug Reside created a virtual tour for all to enjoy.

Melody's Mostly Musical Day with Steinway artist Jenny Lin

Posted April 16, 2020

Classical Family

Pianist and Steinway artist Jenny Lin is delighted to share her digital rendition of Melody's Mostly Musical Day with Annenberg Center audiences. A modified version of Steinway & Sons' live show, this illustrated book follows a child’s musical day from breakfast to bedtime as Lin performs a variety of classical piano works from Mozart, to Gershwin to Chick Corea. Enjoy a special message from Lin and then follow the link below for the full performance.

Watch Here



ListenUp: #GLASSFEST Playlist

Posted April 16, 2020

#GLASSFEST ListenUp New Music

During the 19/20 season, the Annenberg Center presented #GLASSFEST, a celebration of the career and impact of Philip Glass, one of our nation’s most significant modern composers. Our debut ListenUp playlist, curated by Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits, contains the works performed during the three-week festival including those composed by Glass and those performed in juxtaposition with Glass’ works.

Welcome to Annenberg Center @ Home

Posted April 7, 2020

Welcome to Annenberg Center @ Home, our newly-launched blog. During this time of great change and uncertainty, shared across the world, we’re hoping to stay connected with you in spirit. We take our mission seriously: to connect our audiences with visionary artists and innovative ideas, resulting in transformative artistic experiences. If we can’t do this together in person, then we’ll join together here in the digital realm for virtual experiences, still bringing you the best of the performing arts.

The Annenberg Center team has been working hard to gather and curate a collection of rich content to share with you: masterclasses, performances, videos, music, and conversations by many of the artists who have graced our stages, as well as fun activities for children and families and Penn-centric initiatives. We hope these opportunities provide you with some solace, contemplative moments, humor, and joy. In other words, food for the soul.

I look forward to going down this path together, as we work toward seeing you again in person very soon. Stay well!

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