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Twilight gardens, Afro-Andalusian flamenco, Tongue & Groove, and Project Moshen sparkle this weekend

4 minute read
NextMove Dance brings its genre-bending ballet to the Annenberg Center. (Photo by Karli Cadel)
NextMove Dance brings its genre-bending ballet to the Annenberg Center. (Photo by Karli Cadel)

Easter has come and gone, and art is alive and kicking in the city this weekend. The spontaneity of interactive improv, genre- and body-bending ballet, riveting and empowering conversation and performances around flamenco, and a night of DIY instrument-crafting under the twilight makes for a robust serving of things to do.

Tongue & Groove presents ART

What title would you give a work of art inspired by a significant moment of your life? Tongue & Groove uses your anonymously submitted titles to inspire their improvised performance of hilarious and touching scenes, monologues and 'living paintings,' exploring relationships and life experiences. Watch ART spontaneously happen Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 (and again on May 3-4) at The Horan Studio at Arden Theater’s Hamilton Center (62 North 2nd Street), with the doors opening at 7:15pm. An interactive pop-up art exhibit will also be in place for those who arrive early, featuring works curated by Cerulean Arts.

April Twilight in the Gardens

It’s that time of year again. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (1020 South Street) hosts its Twilight in the Gardens on Friday, April 26 at 7 pm. A night of unique instruments and lively beats featuring Dende Macedo—singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer stirs through the night. Guests can also create their own instruments from recycled materials with teaching artist Matthew White. It’s a BYOBBS event—bring your own blanket, bottles, and snacks, a great setup for a picnic under the stars.

Tickets range from $12-$20.

NextMove Dance presents BODYTRAFFIC at Annenberg

The L.A. based dance company with an international name visits Philly this weekend at The Annenberg Center. On Friday, April 26 (8pm) and Saturday, April 27 (2pm and 8pm), the ensemble will put on their blend of contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and ballet for the Philadelphia premiere. The program set of BODYTRAFFIC includes A Million Voices, a work set to Peggy Lee classics by Pennsylvania Ballet resident choreographer and BalletX co-founder, Matthew Neenan, and the world premiere of Resolve by Wewolf. Tickets are available online.

Artistic metamorphosis in Chrysalis

Kathryn Petersen's Chrysalis explores the metamorphosis of Maria Sybilla Merian, 17th century illustrator and naturalist, and her teenage daughter, Dorothea, as they redraw the lines of their personal and professional relationship. Determined to be taken seriously for her scientific discoveries in a male-dominated field, Maria embarks on a risky investigation that ultimately challenges how well she and her daughter know themselves and each other. The performance happens on Saturday, April 27 at 7pm at Villanova Theatre (800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA).

T&G ensemble member Tanesha Ford will be inspired by your story at ART. (Photo by Courtney Fusselman)
T&G ensemble member Tanesha Ford will be inspired by your story at ART. (Photo by Courtney Fusselman)

A Night with Bethlehem

Bethlehem the Vocussionist, an experienced writer, vocal performer, and recording artist, offers her unique work in performance at iMPeRFeCT Gallery (5539 Germantown Avenue) on Saturday, April 27 at 8pm. Regionally known for her works as a vocussionist, a term she created that infuses both vocal performance and body percussion utilizing a tarima, a percussive wooden box, creating a unique dual sound and tone.

Remembering Afro-Andalusian flamenco

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) is hosting a screening, performance, and conversation on Sunday, April 28 at 3pm centered around the poignant documentary Gurumbe: Afro-Andalusian Memories. Flamenco, often held synonymous with Spanish culture, owes significant fundamental influence from Afro-Andalusian contributors. As the Black population began to disappear from Spain in the 19th century, so did the acknowledgement of their contribution. The documentary explores the story behind the African influence on flamenco and Spanish culture. Following the screening, audiences will experience a live performance by international flamenco artist Aliesha Bryan. The program concludes with a reflection led by Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Professor Emerita of Dance Studies at Temple University and author of The Black Dancing Body.

The event is free and open to the public.

Pursuit of Happiness by Project Moshen

It might be an understatement to say that this is a production about happiness. UArts grad and Philadelphia native artistic director Kelli Moshen presents Pursuit of Happiness, Project Moshen Dance Company’s home season show. The all-female jazz dance company depicts the different ways an individual seeks happiness, with new works choreographed by Moshen herself and guest choreographer Shannon Bramham of Koresh Dance Company. There’s the promise to be on the edge of your seat, but who knows, you may find yourself dancing all the way home. The show opens Friday, April 26 at 8pm and runs through Sunday, April 28 at Performance Garage (1515 Brandywine Street). Pick up tickets ($20-$30) online.

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