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Our fall 2020 digital season takes the performance to you

Posted September 1, 2020

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


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...

Caution! Beware! Haunting Halloween Fun Ahead

Rebecca Goering  ·  Posted October 22, 2020

Family

No tricks here! We’ve got a bunch of frightfully delightful treats for you and your monstrous crew. Halloween may look a bit different this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t concoct a wickedly good time. Gather your goblins and ghouls for some spooky decorating tutorials, an audio drama of the classic Dracula, a Danse Macabre dance party, scary ghost light stories, and much more. Happy Halloween friends and fiends!

Creepy Crafts and Spooktacular Stories
Our friends at People’s Light are sharing several tutorials to help amp up your decorating. From monster window silhouettes, papier-mâché pumpkins and yarn spider nests, your Halloween décor will be the best on the block. And next week, check out the company’s seasonal campfire tales via ZooOOooOom. 

Dracula Radio Drama
A love story, mystery and globe-trotting adventure! The University of Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players (REP) bring the classic gothic horror story Dracula to life. Take a trip back to the days of radio plays as the REP partners with WVUD 91.3 FM for a five-part audio drama series. Listen now to episodes 1-3 and then catch the remaining two live presentations on-air at 7 PM on Oct 23 and 30.  Read more...

5 Questions with Meg Bragle

Posted October 20, 2020

Special Features Early Music Annenberg Center Recommends


Photo by Tatiana Daubek
Discover more about Annenberg Center artists and others whom we find interesting in only five questions. Mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle returns to our stage on November 15 alongside lutenist Richard Stone, co-director of Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare. Meg also happens to be a Penn Department of Music Artist-in-Residence and we are thrilled to welcome her to our stage for an evening of music by Purcell, Dowland, Encina and other beloved early music composers. But first, read on to learn more about Meg and how she grew up with impactful music experiences. Read more...

#BecauseOfArtsEd amidst a pandemic

Caroline Leipf  ·  Posted October 15, 2020

Annenberg Center Recommends

While we greatly miss seeing all of you in our theatres this fall, we particularly feel the absence of our youth audiences at our weekday Student Discovery matinees. We continually witness the impact of arts education, and while access to these wonderful programs already had barriers, the pandemic has doubled down on those challenges. Class trips are cancelled, teaching artists and programs are reduced or nonexistent and theatre doors are indefinitely closed.

Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts (AFTA) said during National Arts in Education Week this September, “2020 is unlike any other year. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has threatened the traditional delivery of education and, with it, arts education. With 63 percent of community arts organizations having severe financial loss and 90 percent have cancelled events, and most schools currently pursuing a virtual learning environment, there is an immediate challenge to ensuring that the arts can maintain their valued place in the school day and after school as well.” Read more...

Families can get up and moving with 5 easy arts activities

Posted October 13, 2020

Family

Do some ridiculous magic, learn the samba or make a puppet! With days spent on zoom classes and doing virtual learning, we know families need engaging, hands-on activities to get children moving and having fun. Enter New York’s New Victory Theater and these five, easy arts activities. Your child can clown it up with silly magic tricks, learn to juggle, make household objects come to life or samba across the living room, all with little to no materials or set-up from you (parenting win!).

Looking for even more arts activities? We shared about New Victory’s Art Breaks before as there are tons of great opportunities for kids to try acrobatics, tap dance, prop making, and so much more. Check out the full series here.

Hopefully these quick and simple arts activities help you create some family fun sometime soon!

5 Questions with Tivon Pennicott

Posted October 6, 2020

Special Features Jazz Annenberg Center Debuts

Let’s learn more about tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott in just five questions! This three-time Grammy® Award-winner is making his Annenberg Center debut on October 22 as part of our fall 2020 season. We know he’s in-demand, as the go-to tenor player for Stevie Wonder, Jon Batiste, Gregory Porter, Esperanza Spalding and more, but we’re eager to discover more about this rising jazz star.

1. Talk about your background.

During the American civil rights movement, my parents were listening in a small town in Jamaica from a choppy radio signal on all the happenings. As the early beginnings of positive change came to be, the Land of Liberty became more enticing to my folks. They decided to move to North Carolina in the mid 70's. They eventually moved to Marietta, Georgia where my sister and I were born. Needless to say, our way of living remains deeply rooted within our Jamaican heritage. Read more...

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted September 28, 2020

Jazz Dance Latin Jazz Latin Roots Music World Music


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

Special Features Dance

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 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

Anne-Marie Mulgrew  ·  Posted September 15, 2020

Special Features Dance


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!

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