Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts 2013 Announces 50+ Partner Performances, 3/28-4/27
KimMel Center for the Performing Arts announces today regional arts and cultural organizations participating in Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts 2013 (PIFA) returning to Philadelphia March 28 to April 27. Produced by the KimMel Center, PIFA 2013 combines the creative talents of both large and small Philadelphia arts and culture organizations to create innovative and new works. The biennial city-wide festival's 2013 curatorial theme is If You Had a Time Machine…with 50+ events presented in Philadelphia.
PIFA artists are asked to take audiences on a journey through time, imaginatively tracing in multidisciplinary works the paths of past adventurers and visionaries, current cultural and world events, and even traveling into the future. The resulting programs offer audiences a timeline of events with the opportunity to choose their own adventures.
PIFA 2013 programs produced by the KimMel Center include: theater artist Aaron Cromie and clown actress Gwendolyn Rooker combining their theatrical talents to perform The Trial of Murderous Mary, based on the 1916 true story of railroad circus elephant, "Mighty Mary," and her public trial for killing her gatekeeper. The Bearded Ladies perform gender-bending cabaret performance, Wide Awake: Civil War Cabaret, exploring The Musical legacy of northern and southern cultures during the Civil War in 1863. Percussive dancer and choreographer Germaine Ingram pairs up with modern dancer and choreographer Leah Stein to present a new multidisciplinary dance work, Where Heaven' s Dew Divides, inspired by Richard Allen's divide from St. George Church to form his own African American congregation in Philadelphia in 1793. Kara Crombie creates multi-media animation, Suffering Heroes, based on GenerAl Sherman's famous march to the sea during the Civil War in 1864. Tribe of Fools performs Shut Your Wormhole, a new comical theater piece about the invention of the Time Machine transporting a monkey test subject and visitors through 21st Century Philadelphia.
PIFA 2013 events co-produced by the KimMel Center include: a partnership with The Philadelphia Science Festival featuring The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra performance of Icarus at The Edge of Time, based on a book by physicist Brian Greene, and includes an original orchestral score by composer Philip Glass and animated film directed by British filmmakers Al+Al; Please Touch Museum performs an interactive, child-friendly performance of President Ulysses S. Grant and the Great Centennial Banana Mystery!, based on the opening of the Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia on May 10, 1876. Sculptor Jebney Lewis creates We Make the City: Philadelphia, the Dawn of a New Century, an interactive large scale model and walking tour of Philadelphia City Hall, completed on Jan. 1, 1901; the model utilizes functioning organ pipes played by moving Mummers' band of kinetic sculptures. The return of spontaneous theater company Tongue & Groove performs, That Time, a new work that responds to audience descriptions of personal moments in time, and incorporates Real Live People (In) Motion's improvisational dance . Azuka Theatre Partners with American Poetry Review to present the two person play and performance, Everyone and I, a new work inspired by Frank O'Hara's poem "The Day Lady Died," that celebrates Billie Holiday's legacy (July 17, 1959). Fly School Circus Arts Daringly High trapeze classes and performances honor Jean Shrimpton wearing the first mini-dress to Derby Day, October 30, 1965. Philadelphia Young Playwrights performs Time Machine, an original, interactive theater piece crafted over a year-long journey by a multi-generational team of local high school and University of the Arts students in collaboration with professional artists.
KimMel Center for the Performing Art's resident companies also lend their incredible repertoire to PIFA 2013 with a rare Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, led by the Orchestra's new Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. This masterpiece of classical sacred music explores the crucifixion of Christ (33 AD) and kicks off the festival on March 28. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, led by Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn presents The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Nov. 9, 1989), collaborating with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, photographer James B. Abbott, and the Mendelssohn Club on a multi-media performance, co-produced by the KimMel Center. And, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops performs Bond and Beyond, with guest conductor Michael Krajewski, based on the London Premiere of the first James Bond Film, Dr. No (Oct. 18, 1962), and subsequent 007 movies.
Sifting through the sands of time, PIFA 2013 also discloses visionaries and world explorers such as Latin Fiesta and the Mexican Cultural Center collaborate on music and dance performance , 1492…Latin Tempo: From Spain to the Americas, a Journey through Music and Dance, of evolving Euro-Spanish cultural influences circa 9th to 15th centuries, tied to Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World in 1492. Presented by KimMel Center Presents, New York export puppeteer company, Phantom Limb, provides the Philadelphia premiere of 69°S, a theatrical presentation of Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica in 1914 when climate control was discovered. Pasi?n y Arte Flamenco Dance Company partners with Fresh Blood modern dance company to perform a new dance work,1096, based on the world's first female gynecologist, Trotula of Salerno, Italy. Applied Mechanics performs new immersive theater work, Vainglorious: The Epic Feats of Notable Persons in Europe, in which 26 actors depict key figures from Napoleon's Europe and major events from his life, including his coronation as emperor in 1804, all set to the music of his contemporary, Ludwig van Beethoven.; The Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini, presented by EgoPo Classic Theater, captures the magic of Houdini. A mysterious magician's assistant will bring audiences to the great magician's final performance and reveal what happens after the curtain drops, Oct. 20, 1936. Intercultural Journeys partners with Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos, Esperanza Charter High School, and Dalí Quartet in an ensemble performance of Guadalupe: Our Lady of the Roses, exploring folk and visual elements, tied to the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Aztec Indian Juan Diego on December 9, 1531.
World events such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011 will be explored in a collaborative taiko drumming performance of Hiraki: Tsunami Loss & Hope, a newly commissioned work with Settlement Music School, Friends of the Japanese House and Garden, and KyoDaiko. No Face Performance Group interprets the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981 with new theater piece, From the Swamp to the Stars. National Museum of American Jewish History hosts Freedom Seder Revisited, a dinner and multi-cultural celebration, connecting the fourth night of Passover to the original Freedom Seder in D.C. held on the first anniversary of the death of DR. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1969. Orchestra 2001 performs a program marking barbaric and triumphant moments from the 20th Century: Hitler's invasion of Poland, Sept. 1, 1939 and Neil Armstrong's first moon landing, July 20, 1969. Presented in collaboration with the Barnes Foundation, Taller Puertorriqueño's performance of Sounds and Rhythms of Resistance shares the vibrant music and dance heritage of the Caribbean and the Americas, based on Puerto Rico's Emancipation Day of African slaves from those regions on March 22, 1873. Wynnewood, PA based Wolf Performing Arts Center's The Butterfly Project provides a poignant theater performance with child actors sharing the Holocaust history of Liberation of Terezin Concentration Camp, May 3, 1945, as told through the eyes of children who experienced it.
Music Director Jeffrey Brillhart leads Singing City through family-friendly choral performance, The Children's March, a newly commissioned work commemorating the march's 50th anniversary by Andrew Bleckner and Charlotte Blake Alston (Birmingham , Alabama on May 2, 1963). Kariamu & Company: Traditions performs new African dance performance in Countdown to "Boom" We All Fall Down, tied to Sept. 5, 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
PIFA connects national historical events to local landmarks such as Historical Society of Pennsylvania ArkHIVE multimedia show combining Sebastienne Mundheim's sculptural and shadow puppet talents to music and dance, inspired by William Penn's landing and founding of Philadelphia, Nov. 8, 1682; Athenaeum of Philadelphia partners with Philadelphia Center for the Book on From Seneca Falls to Philadelphia: Fourth of July 1876 and the Women of the Centennial, an exhibition of the Athenaeum's collection and a book art competition, celebrating the 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia and Susan B. Anthony presenting the Declaration of Rights for Women. Woodmere Art Museum ties Promise of Peace: Violet Oakley's United Nations Portraits art exhibit with musical performances and lectures, sharing Philly native Oakley's ties to the founding of the United Nations and her drawings of the 1st general assembly convened in London on January 10th, 1946.
Additional Philadelphia lore is shared in PIFA 2013 projects, such as Jazz Bridge's new theater performance Last Call at the Downbeat, capturing the heyday of early 1940's Philly jazz at the Downbeat Club as told by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Painted Bride Art Center commissions a new theatrical piece, If She Stood, exploring the founding of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.
Philly-based and home grown talent also delivers international flavors in their interpretations of If You Had a Time Machine…. Two dancers of Stone Depot Dance Lab, recently returned from a choreographic residency in Poland, will perform in PIFA 2013 Casual Friday, a new work choreographed by Eleanor Goudie-Averill and Beau Hancock performed to live music composed by Chris Farrell and his group, the RitMo Collective, capturing when casual clothing was first introduced to formal work environments in Hawaii (April 15, 1966); PIFA newcomer, Penn Dixie Alive, a company founded by Anisa George in London, England, and recently transplanted to Philadelphia, brings Animal Animal Mammal Mine which explores the advent of the birth control pill (May 11, 1960), women without children, and the end of the world; In collaboration with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Photographer James B. Abbott revisits Berlin, Germany 24 years after the fall of The Berlin Wall (November 10, 1989) to explore Berlin's revitalized landscapes and neighborhoods' hopes, history, and creativity in a photography exhibit, The Fall: A Photographic Portrait of Berlin and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. COSACOSA art at large's Spare A Dime performance explores the day the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was founded, May 6, 1935. Based on transcripts of Philadelphians who lived through the Great Depression, this multimedia, theatrical song cycle includes sets by Venezuelan artist Henry Bermudez illustrating WPA's impact on diverse American communities.
Current cultural events are also explored throughout the festival such as: the world premiere of an original comedic play, The Hand of Gaul, by Inis Nua exploring the controversial soccer match up of Ireland versus France (Nov. 18, 2009); SHARP Dance Company performs the world premiere of Aquarian Exposition: A Trip Back to the OriginAl Woodstock, inspired by the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. Network for New Music performs The Arc of Curiosity, an electronic-acoustic concert inspired by the invention of the ENIAC computer (Feb. 14, 1946), part of a three concert mini-festival. And, Penn Museum serves up a lecture on The Scopes Monkey Trial (July 21, 1925), part of the Museum's Great Battles Lecture Series.
PIFA 2013 spans from the beginning of time - 33 AD with Philadelphia Orchestra performance on the crucifixion of Christ and delves into the future with the world premiere of FutureFest Play Festival, a series of five one act plays, curated and produced by Luna Theater Company.
For a complete visual timeline of all PIFA 2013 events with program details, visit www.PIFA.org. Additional PIFA 2013 programs will be added to the lineup as the festival fast approaches.
Select PIFA 2013 events that are currently on sale are:
· Philadelphia Orchestra led by music director Yannick Nézet Séguin performs Bach's St. Matthew Passion, an exploration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in 33 AD.
· Painted Bride Art Center's newly commissioned theatrical piece, If She Stood, explores the founding of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.
· Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) lecture on The Scopes Monkey Trial (July 21, 1925).
· Spare A Dime, a multimedia song cycle about the founding of the Works Progress Administration by COSACOSA art at large, Inc. (May 6, 1935)
· The Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini, a theater show and lecture by EgoPo Classic Theater (Oct. 20, 1936).
· Network for New Music performs The Arc of Curiosity, an electronic-acoustic concert inspired by the invention of the ENIAC computer (Feb. 14, 1946).
· Everyone and I, a play celebrating Billie Holiday's legacy (July 17, 1959) by Azuka Theatre in partnership with American Poetry Review.
· SHARP Dance Company performs world premiere of Aquarian Exposition: A Trip Back to the OriginAl Woodstock (1969).
· Singing City multi-media choral performance celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Children's March, 1963, a newly commissioned work by Andrew Bleckner and Charlotte Blake Alston.
· Multi-media performance of The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Beethoven's 9th Symphony, (Nov. 9, 1989), presented by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia led by Conductor Laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn in collaboration with The Center For Emerging Visual Artists and the Mendelssohn Club.
· The world premiere of an original comedic play, The Hand of Gaul, by Inis Nua exploring the soccer match up of Ireland versus France (Nov. 18, 2009).
*Single tickets go on sale for ALL PIFA 2013 programs beginning January 23.
KimMel Center President and CEO Anne Ewers adds, "We are thrilled with the return of PIFA in 2013. Six months from today, PIFA 2013 will engage Philadelphians to explore their own cultural treasures, putting a national and international spotlight on our artists. The If You Had a Time Machine…. theme provides the artistic impetus and curatorial focus for Philadelphia arts and cultural communities to collaborate, innovate, and create exciting new works under one festival umbrella."
"PIFA is a unique opportunity to showcase the incredible creative ability of some of the area's most gifted performing artists," said Mayor Michael Nutter. "Philadelphia is widely known for our rich musical history. Our performing and visual arts creative sectors are equally rich and diverse contributing to Philadelphia fast becoming an international destination for all art."
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts 2013 (PIFA - March 28 to April 27) is a month-long city-wide arts festival produced by the KimMel Center that celebrates innovation, collaboration and creativity with over 50 local arts and cultural organizations presenting multi-disciplinary artistic interpretations of new works, classical performances and exhibits. The 2013 thematic focus, If You Had a Time Machine…. takes audiences on a journey through time to experience the convergence of art, culture and history in artistic interpretations of great, defining moments that continue to influence society today. The inaugural 2011 PIFA, which paid homage to the artistic energy of Paris 1910-1920, attracted over 404,600 visitors to the festival's core 135 events, in addition to 196,000 visitors experiencing the culminating Street Fair event, and generated a total economic impact of $55.74 million and an additional $5 million in state and local taxes within the Philadelphia region.