Miami's Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre to Make Philadelphia Debut Next Month

Miami's Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre to Make Philadelphia Debut Next Month

Known for its larger-than life theatricality and surreal aesthetic based on Miami's unique subculture, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre premieres two full-length dance theatre works that fuse contemporary dance, theatre, opera, music, performance art and drag. Performances take place Thursday, January 15 at 7:30 PM, Friday, January 16 at 8 PM and Saturday, January 17 at 2 PM and 8 PM at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street. Tickets are $20-$50. For tickets or for more information, visit AnnenbergCenter.org or call 215.898.3900. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Box Office. Dance Celebration is co-presented by Dance Affiliates and Annenberg Center Live.

The program opens with Dining Alone (2011), choreographed by Artistic Director Rosie Herrera. An exploration into the deconstruction of empathetic instincts assigned to age, fragility, youth and isolation, this work addresses the inherent drama and comedy attached to food. Inspired by Herrera's early childhood memories as the daughter of a restaurant owner, she observes bittersweet and private moments that are amplified by the experience of solitary diners. Dance Magazine said, "The episodes here - with their obsessive and entrancing moves - turn hunger and satiety into metaphors: the mouth as porthole to the soul. Herrera juggles the wry (a female trio writhes at a table, getting pies in the face as Snow White warbles about her prince) and the wrenching (a woman follows a lonely path of plates laid out underfoot). To her banquet, Herrera invites both rascals and angels." Set to music by Michael Galasso, Claude Debussy Jose Pero, Rachmaninoff, Kitka, Ilene Woods and Mike Douglas, these vignettes showcase "Herrera's appetite for dark humor" (New York Times).

Using water as a metaphor for the unconscious, Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret (2009) recreates dream states by incorporating dance, theatre, cabaret and film. This is a breakout piece by the young Cuban-American choreographer whom World Dance Reviews calls "a magician that twists our emotions." The Classical Voice of North Carolina says "this work is strange and adventurous, bright and cheeky..., as much dance as it is theater and is highly theatrical as it is booty shaking kinetic." The work features cameo appearances by characters such as a woman lounging in a claw-footed bathtub, a drag queen climbing a ladder to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," a young child being carried across the stage who reappears on a toy bike, a woman dropped on ten cakes followed by a man dropped on ten cakes (which elicits a different response) and more. This work was the hit of The American Dance Festival. Herrera comments about her work, "I'm a surrealist. I can be like a child, very giddy and happy, and I can be very dark. You can't have one without having the other. It's not something I save for the stage; it's how I see life."