Campy ballet, interdisciplinary mixtapes, and casting light on the 'Invisible'

The Weekly Roundup, January 19-26

4 minute read
A collage of mixed media illustrates silhouetted human figures within and breaking through frames.
Kelly Popoff's 'Shame' is part of ArtYard's 'Invisible' exhibition. (Image courtesy of ArtYard.)

No doubt, there’s an uncertain stillness happening with the surging Covid-19 numbers. With in-person shows postponing or canceling and no time for venues and creators to adapt their works for virtual platforms, it’s hard to pinpoint what’s happening for these weekly roundups. But I’m here for the challenge!

This week, I do have a few in-person events that are likely low-key enough to scratch the itch if you’re willing to take the risk. Be sure to check policies when going anywhere—but the following events require proof of vaccination and that guests wear masks at all times. And double-check showtimes: events listed are subject to cancellation or postponement.

I’m excited for ArtYard’s exhibit Invisible. The exhibit gathers a dozen artists who use unique techniques to express nuanced ideas about the intangible things in life. Penn Live Arts gets campy with ballet, and the Muse Gallery’s MIXTAPE goes beyond the gallery walls. Then, local music students from Hill-Freedman World Academy drop a new album focused on love and healing.

Be safe, Philly!

Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo
Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
January 21-22, 2022

If you’ve been looking for a gender-bending, campy, satirical ballet performance, then look no further than Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Hosted by Penn Live Arts, the all-male ballet troupe will both honor ballet classics and poke fun at them. The performance surely will provide some much-needed levity.

MIXTAPE: P.W. Prichett
Muse Gallery, 52 North Second Street, Philadelphia
Through January 30, 2022

Freestyle paintings with beats? Sign me up! Muse Gallery continues its exhibition of paintings by P.W. Prichett, pairing music with paintings inspired by marine creatures, insects, and the microscopic living things all around us. The exhibit comes with a playlist on Spotify—so if you’re still on the fence about going out, you can still experience the music while exploring Prichett’s vibrant works at home. It’s actually a really dope playlist featuring the likes of Miles Davis, Anderson .Paak, Guru, MF Doom, Peggy Gou, John Coltrane, and more.

The Muse Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5pm.

Love & Healing
Streaming on SoundCloud

I’ve been vibing out to the new album from Hill-Freedman Records while writing this roundup, and let me tell you, this album slaps. What started as part of Hill-Freedman World Academy’s music technology course, the student-produced album (in tandem with World Cafe Live) features 32 original songs that grew from exploring the artistic legacies of late musical legends. Drawing inspiration from artists like Bill Withers, Eddie Van Halen, DMX, and more, the album is a diverse arrangement of soul, lo-fi hip hop, and electronic jams.

Seriously, put it on if you need something smooth and insightful to nod your head to. There’s some serious, promising talent blossoming and bursting on every track.

Invisible at ArtYard
ArtYard, 13 Front Street, Frenchtown, New Jersey
Through April 10, 2022

ArtYard’s new exhibit features the work of 12 artists whose works illuminate “omitted histories, imperceptible forces, and unspoken narratives” in our life experiences. Focusing on the “invisible forms of labor, unspoken emotional states, and unnoticed effects of human presence,” the exhibit makes visible the intangible and the invisible.

Monica Banks, one of the featured artists, uses inedible confections to illuminate nameless anxieties and the divide between material abundance and scarcity. Kaitlin Pomerantz uses shoes and fallen magnolia petals to bookmark the beginnings of the pandemic. Vasiliki Katsarou uses disappearing Haiku-length poems dispensed from gum ball machines for fleeting words of wisdom. And Phebe Macrae Corcoran uses textiles, video, text, and found images to help connect the artist and their audience with other worlds and timelines.

I can keep going, but every artist has something to say and striking ways in saying it. The show opened on January 15 and runs through April, so there will be plenty of time to check it out if you can. But if you want to check it out, don’t sleep on this one.

The gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 5pm.

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