Dancing back home to South Philly with SHARP's spring series

SHARP Dance Company presents Haven

2 minute read
Five dancers in all black look up at another dancer who stands in their circle. The lone dancer also looks up, hands out
SHARP Dance Company brings its spring series 'Haven' back to South Philly. (Photo by Bill Hebert.)

SHARP Dance Company, the new artist in residence at Equilibrium Dance Academy, brings its spring series Haven to South Philadelphia with a program including excerpts from Diane Sharp-Nachsin’s Seven Windows, a duet by choreographer Joe Cotler, I Am Here from Miguel Quiñones, and a work from 2011 by Kevin Ferguson.

Painting a dream

“Our home is kind of in South Philly,” artistic director Sharp-Nachsin told me. She sees the residency as a chance to connect with the community: students receive discounted tickets and Q&A sessions after the Saturday performances will give the audience a chance to get to know the dancers. The studio venue offers dance in a more intimate setting that makes up for what it lacks in lighting and projections of a theatrical performance with an up-close look at the dancers and the work.

The program includes two pieces that take us deeper into works Sharp-Nachsin sampled in November. I enjoyed the duet from Sharp-Nachsin’s Seven Windows so I was glad to hear that the company will be performing three more excerpts. “Seven Windows is a true story about my lead dancer, Sandra Davis,” Sharp-Nachsin explained. “She tragically lost her mom about 10 years ago and she came into rehearsal one day and she said, ‘I had a dream about my mom, and I asked her if she was in heaven and she said she hadn’t opened the seven windows yet.’”

Sharp-Nachsin believes in reincarnation and wondered if the dream related to the lives Davis’s mother had yet to live. So she asked if she could do a piece about it. She told five artists the story, and they each made an original painting inspired by it. Sharp-Nachsin took her own inspiration from the paintings; the three that reflect the sections in the performance appear in the program.

I loved the dance club vibe of Quiñones’s I Am Here, so I am looking forward to the full piece. Cotler, another frequent choreographer with the company (and former Koresh favorite), has been working on a collaboration with Sharp-Nachsin, titled Stories. Audiences will get a first-look at Cotler’s duet and can catch the full piece in September. A 2011 work from Kevin Ferguson and two short pieces will round out the program.

What, When, Where

Haven. SHARP Dance Company; presented by Equilibrium Dance Academy. $20-$25. May 7-8 and May 14-15, 2022. Equilibrium Dance Academy, 1802 S. Broad Street, 2nd floor, Philadelphia. (215) 880-2306 or sharpdance.org.

All patrons must show proof of full vaccination and identification. All patrons will need to wear a mask at all times while inside the studio theater.


Equilibrium Dance Academy is not an accessible venue.

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