5 Questions with Eugenia Repelskii
We are very eager to welcome Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, or the Trocks as they’re lovingly called, back to our stage for the first time since 2012. As we await the laugh-out-loud antics of this seriously stunning and gender-bending ballet troupe, we are happy to have connected with the company’s slightly esteemed but highly tolerated dancer Eugenia Repelskii* to learn a bit more about her in just five questions.
1. What first got you into dance?
My mother Maria Repelskii bought a one-way ticket on the Trans-Siberian Railroad where I found myself dancing for our supper.
Recent Highlights: Aug – Dec 2021
The 21/22 season marks the first with our new identity, Penn Live Arts (PLA), and we’re excited that it highlights our connection with the University of Pennsylvania even as we broaden our performances to venues outside of our home at the Annenberg Center. The name also underscores our commitment to live performances, which we’re proud to say continued throughout the pandemic.
Since we officially re-opened the Annenberg Center in August, we have welcomed 10,000 people to a wide variety of events, from scores of student shows to Penn Vet’s rite-of-passage White Coat Ceremony to Legacy on Broad, the largest Bollywood-fusion dance competition on the East Coast, to our first indoor Penn Live Arts presentations since March of 2020.
Carols after a Plague
Mother of All
Offer sacred praise to her
If not, thy tongue should silence give
Holy tone she is
Wholly listen in
- Shara Nova, from Carols after a Plague: II. Tone-policing
Like so much that has happened in the last twelve or more months, Carols after a Plague is the solution to a problem. In fact, so much of creativity, whether artistic or scientific, is the result of facing a challenge that needs solving. In this case, the challenge posed was multi-faceted: “How to record these conflicting feelings, born of isolation, fear, and social unrest? How to make a record of this time? How to better reflect the community we live in?”
5 Questions with Michelle Dorrance
1. What first got you into dance?
My mom was a professional ballet dancer, and she started a school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when I was barely a year old, so I started dancing very young, but I was pretty terrible at ballet (inherited my soccer coach father's flatter feet and much less flexible legs). However, I quickly excelled at/became obsessed with tap dancing because it was a form of musical expression, and that came much more naturally to me than graceful movement as a loose-limbed kid. And I truly fell in love with the art form through the tutelage of the school's founding tap teacher, Gene Medler. Very different from most "studio" tap dance teachers of the time, Gene sought out the elders of our community, taught us a history we never would have learned elsewhere, and brought us to the early tap dance festivals to study with cutting edge young dancers like Savion Glover and the last of the jazz-era hoofers who were in their 80s and 90s at the time. I feel so incredibly lucky to have grown up with Gene as my teacher, mentor, and friend.
What to expect when you return to our theatre next month
Ahead of Time:
Get vaccinated and find your vaccination card. Everyone entering our building must be fully vaccinated and able to show proof. “Fully vaccinated" means the performance date is at least two weeks after your final COVID-19 vaccine dose. Those under age 12 may show proof of vaccination or negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test (saliva or nasal swab) taken within 72 hours of the performance start time.* There are no exceptions to this policy.
A visionary celebration of sound and motion
A MacArthur Fellow “Genius Grant” recipient, the first ever for a tap dancer, Dorrance is an unstoppable force of nature. She is a virtuoso tap dancer, visionary choreographer, passionate ambassador, fearless activist, relentless evangelist, supercharged innovator and devoted “edutainer” (educator/entertainer). She honors the rich, diverse history of tap while introducing new audiences to tap’s endless possibilities through her ground-breaking and imaginative approaches.
West Philly (is very) Welcome
Originally a day-of rush with limited ticket availability, the program has evolved over the years but this summer, we were excited to reimagine this outreach and our approach. We wanted to create broader and easier access, ensuring everyone is able to attend and feels welcome in our theatres. So, West Philly Rush was renamed and restructured into our new West Philly Welcome program.
Student Performing Arts Groups Take Center Stage
Welcome to the vibrant world of student performing arts at Penn! Our campus is home to more than 60 extracurricular student performing arts groups, practicing disciplines from a cappella to dance, theatre to spoken word, music to comedy, and stage tech to design. Platt Student Performing Arts House is the advisory hub for extracurricular student performing arts on campus, providing students with the resources to train, collaborate, rehearse, fundraise and realize their artistic values on stage. These student performances come to life across campus, many within the Annenberg Center walls, supported by Penn Live Arts at the box office, in the tech booth, and throughout the performance process. We are grateful to Penn Live Arts for this partnership!