PHILADANCO: Ambassador to the World

Arts / Article

By Kate Durnan, The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO)

“When the company tours the world—it was most recently in Macedonia—it’s as an art ambassador from the City of Brotherly Love.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer Among the praise PHILADANCO received for its sold-out spring season at the Kimmel, The Philadelphia Inquirer reminded Philadelphians of the role the company plays as ambassador across the nation and around the world. Just a week before their Kimmel season, our dancers represented the City of Philadelphia and the nation as a whole at Dance Fest Skopje in Macedonia, where PHILADANCO was the first American company ever to perform. The company held outreach activities during its short residency in Skopje, and closed out the festival to critical acclaim and audience cheers. As one new fan commented on our Facebook page, “I saw you yesterday at Skopje—amazing performance—we were all enchanted! My heart is still dancing.”

After their groundbreaking appearance halfway around the world, our dancers returned to the studio to complete rehearsals for the spring concert series, The Philadelphia Connection, which ran April 20–22 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Philadelphia. This much-anticipated program featured new work, new dancers, and new music in homage to the company’s beloved hometown. The Inquirer called the series “wonderful,” noting that “best of all was the extreme variety of dance styles, from ballet slippers and chiffon dresses to hip-hop in sneakers.” The Dance Journal described the world premiere of Philadelphia-native Rennie Harris’ ballet, “Wake Up,” as “the high point of the evening,” and lauded the technique and skill our dancers are known for: “the footwork was furious at times and controlled at others proving that the dancers of PHILADANCO are brilliantly trained yet still versatile enough to feel and make the audience do the same.”

Letting the audience members feel—letting their hearts dance—are the qualities that PHILADANCO cultivates in our dancers and our work. Leaving the politics to the politicians, we are proud to serve as cultural ambassador to our city, imparting a little bit of feeling and heart to our fans here in Philadelphia and across the world.