PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company
(Posted on December 15, 2011)
8 p.m., Friday, January 20, 2012
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
Celebrated for its innovation, creativity, and preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance, The Philadelphia Dance Company, affectionately known as PHILADANCO, performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 20, 2012, at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Tickets are $45, $40, and $35.
PHILADANCO was formed in 1970 by Joan Myers Brown, an educator and former dancer, who currently serves as honorary chairperson for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, an organization she established in 1991. In 1960, intent on providing young dance students opportunities she didn't have in the dance profession, Ms. Brown started the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts. The roots for the current dance company took hold some ten years later when Ms. Brown formed a performing group so her dance students, who were now turning 16 and 17, would get performance experience before moving on in their careers. But her students decided not to transfer to dance capitals like New York and California. They remained with Ms. Brown in Philadelphia and eventually danced their way into the hearts of the nation and the world as PHILADANCO.
Superlative technique and an exciting repertoire are the hallmarks of PHILADANCO. The New York Times calls the company "exuberant"; The Los Angeles Times describes the dancers as "high-speed wonders"; The Miami Herald calls them "electrifying"; and The Washington Post notes that "PHILADANCO can do just about anything: leap like arrows in flight, spin, stretch, kick and melt like hot wax." Dance Magazine echoes the praise with: "PHILADANCO'S dancers are a miracle of skill and energy ... The company has built its success on the ability to do everything."
On the heels of their 40th Anniversary, PHILADANCO extends their celebration into the 2011-2012 season with a program that includes company and audience favorites. Their Quick Center program includes: "Cottonwool" and "Enemy Behind the Gates," both choreographed by Christopher L. Huggins, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," choreographed by Ray Mercer, and "Violin Concerto," choreographed by Milton Myers with music by Philip Glass.
The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts continues to offer high-level dance training, directed at creating generations of well-disciplined dancers with ideals and goals of professionalism. Over 4,500 dancers have taken part in the comprehensive program, taught by a faculty handpicked by Joan Myers Brown, who is also founder of the International Conference of Black Dance Companies and a member of the dance faculty at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The newly published book "Joan Myers Brown & The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance," written by Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Professor Emerita of Dance Studies at Temple University, will be available in January, 2012.
As part of the Quick Center's Arts Bound Schoolday Series, PHILADANCO will present a lecture/demonstration workshop at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 20, 2012. PHILADANCO's dancers will illustrate the company's stylistic and choreographic dynamism while paying homage to some figures in dance history that helped shape and build American character and culture. Suitable for grade levels Kindergarten through college, the program is adjusted to levels as needed. The workshop utilizes from 10 dancers to the full company and gives an introduction to dance and the history of PHILADANCO, with demonstrations of choreography and dance steps, and audience participation. The program concludes with excerpts from the current repertoire and a question-and-answer period with the dancers and the director. Tickets are $7. For further information, contact the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010.
The unique blend of dance styles of PHILADANCO and its roster of 50-60 concert performances and 45 residencies annually has made them one of the most sought after modern companies in the United States.
Tickets and subscriptions are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.fairfield.edu/quick.
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.fairfield.edu/quick.
Vol. 44, No. 195