Reimagining the world with La Brega, The Song Catcher, and Brave Space Philly

The Weekly Roundup, April 6 – 13

3 minute read
A trapeze artist walks along a pole held up by 6 other dancers in a room with a dim, violet-purple tinted light
Aloft's 'Brave Space' moves through Philly this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Aloft.)

Hello, April! The first roundup of the month features a pair of events that highlight the Latine community in Philly. La Brega uses mixed media to (re)imagine a better world for Puerto Ricans, and Along the 23 brings dancers from all over the city to celebrate and honor Latine communities all over the area (and beyond). Then, Lyric Fest seeks to reimagine the folk song, and an all-women contemporary circus company from Chicago will show their moves in Fairhill.

Mixed Media

La Brega: Art for Reimagining the World
Through August 15, 2022
National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street

Cultural worker and artist Johnny Irizarry has been contributing to Philly’s Puerto Rican community since at least the 90s. Teaming up with Taller Puertorriqueño and the National Liberty Museum, Irizarry brings La Brega to Old City now through the summer. The exhibit explores the diasporic experience through the lens of a Puerto Rican, tackling issues from colonization, climate change, gun violence, and religious and spiritual traditions through mixed media art.

The exhibit is open now, but NLM will dedicate an evening especially to La Brega on Thursday, April 7 at 5:30-9pm. In a separate event later this month, NLM is hosting a Family Day celebrating Puerto Rican culture on Saturday, April 23.

Along the 23
Saturday, April 9, 11am-3pm
Taller Puertorriqueño, 2600 North 5th Street

The Knight Foundation and PHDC awarded three Art is Essential projects to artists in the city, and this weekend, Christina Castro-Tauser’s public art project opens at Taller PR this weekend. The event brings together dancers from a variety of organizations and groups, including Castro-Tauser’s Expansions Contemporary Dance Ensemble, the Esperanza Dance Ensemble, the Wissahickon Dance Academy, International Ballet Exchange, Los Bomberos De La Calle, and artists Marta Sanchez and Ashley Rivera. Basically, all the cool kids and their cousins are going to be there.

Along the 23 doesn’t stop there (pardon the pun): after it’s completion, eight artworks will be displayed over the summer in bus shelters along the 23 bus route, which connects downtown Center City with the deep reaches of North Philadelphia—a route that connects the community members mentioned above.

Music

The Song Catcher
April 9, 3pm
The American Philosophical Society, 104 South 5th Street, Philadelphia
April 10, 3pm
Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, 625 Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr

Lyric Fest brings ten different composers together for a concert on re-imagining the folk song. The afternoon performances will feature works from artists coming from various cultures and identities, drawing from inspirations from Brazilian poetry, artists Woody Guthrie and Gil Scott-Heron, and a piece that is “Appalachian in spirit.”

Dance

Brave Space
Saturday, April 9, 7pm
Secret Circus, 428 East Erie Avenue, Philadelphia

Chicago-based circus company Aloft pays a visit to the city with Brave Space, a contemporary circus performance that hopes to inspire audiences to take “better care for themselves and for those around them.” It starts with a “puddle of fabric on the floor” and grows into “a world of wonders” that includes juggling, cyr wheel, duo trapeze, and more.

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