Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Philadanco embraces artistic freedom

Philadanco, an eclectic dance troupe from Philadelphia, will perform April 16 at Centennial Hall.

Philadanco, an eclectic dance troupe from Philadelphia, will perform April 16 at Centennial Hall.

Philadanco, one of the top dance companies in the U.S., will have ballet, modern, jazz and ethnic dance on the program April 16 at Centennial Hall.

The Philadelphia-based ensemble has been hailed as a “miracle of skill and energy” (Dance Magazine) whose “blazing physicality and commitment light up the stage” (The Village Voice).

Joan Myers Brown, the African-American company’s founder and executive artistic director, says she thinks carefully about programming when she comes into a community.

Audiences are likely to see:

• Gene Hill Sagan’s neo-classical and romantic “Ritornello,” set to Bach. “He had recently returned from 14 years in Israel,” Brown says. “There’s no story line. They’re just dancing to the music, creating beautiful pictures.”

• “From Dawn ’til Dusk,” choreographed by Christopher Huggins to Bobby McFerrin. “It’s six women. They wake up in the morning feeling good about themselves, then they go through the day, frustrated and flustered, and at the end they’re ready to lay down. It showcases the skill of our women dancers.”

• “Violin Concerto,” which is Milton Myers setting lyrical and physical dance to music by Philip Glass, Brown says.

The entire program “shows how eclectic the company is, their ability to take on the styles of different choreographers,” she says.

“Dancers don’t stay in one place forever; they need to be able to experience a variety of styles. Especially for black dancers. There are still so few opportunities in this day and time.”

“Enemy Behind the Gates” started as a short, in-house piece in 2000 by Huggins, danced to a percussive score by Steve Reich.

Brown suggested Huggins think about developing it further. “We want to give choreographers artistic freedom, a place where they can have not just success but failure.”

Far from a failure, “Enemy” became a Philadanco signature in this decade.

“It’s our ‘Wow’ piece,” Brown says. “It looks at “enemies” that live and work within our midst – and prophetically premiered on Sept. 10, 2001.

“They look like you, they act like you, but they’re not one of you,” Brown says. The dance’s larger question, she says, is “Who’s the enemy?”



What: dance troupe Philadanco

When: 7:30 p.m. April 16

Where: UA’s Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.

Price: $17-$40

Info: 621-3341, www.uapresents.org

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service