It’s another robust time in Philly. Eleone Dance Theatre, PAFA, and the Johnson House add more to the calendar for Black History Month. SALT Performing Arts and the Spruce Foundation get fabulous with Footloose and a winter cabaret. And the Curtis Institute and the Philadelphia Dance Project contemplate finding identity through art.
Roaring and Soaring: Black Persistence
Eleone Dance Theatre presents Roaring and Soaring: Black Persistence, a multi-media journey through dance highlighting historical themes that chronicle Black experiences in America. This year focuses on Bessie Coleman, the first Black female pilot, and the progression of African Americans during the roaring 20’s (100 years ago, yikes) and the jazz age. Check it out on Thursday, February 20 at the Painted Bride Arts Center at 7pm.
White Hot Winter Cabaret
The Spruce Foundation is hosting a White Hot Winter Cabaret on Friday, February 21 at the Ruba Club. An evening of burlesque performances, cocktails, and chances to win raffle items from Philly AIDS Thrift, Condom Kingdom, and Passional/Sexploratorium should make for a fabulous time. Doors open at 8pm, the show is at 9pm, and proceeds go to the foundation’s LGBTQ grant recipient. Grab a ticket online.
Awakened in You
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents Awakened in You, an exhibition of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures by Black artists. Curated by educator and arts advocate Dr. Constance E. Clayton, the exhibition will be on view February 21 through July 12, 2020, at PAFA. Find out more about the exhibit and upcoming events online.
SALT Performing Arts cuts loose this weekend as it opens Footloose on Friday, February 21. Running through March 1, the performance kicks off SALT’s 2020 season. Get your seat now online.
The New York Academy of Art teams up with the Fleisher Art Memorial for a marathon of drawing on Friday, February 21 from 1-9pm. Eight hours of drawing includes live figure models and Academy faculty members offering tips and portfolio reviews, and is open to all art students. Find out more and register online.
Hoot Review’s Flash Fiction festival
Hoot Review and A Novel Idea on Passyunk team up for a mini-festival of all things flash fiction, including a workshop, panels, and readings on Saturday, February 22 at 12-5pm. Christina Rosso-Schneider heads the flash fiction workshop, and the rest of the afternoon includes panels on submitting to flash journals, crafting flash prose, and more. Sign up online or pay at the door.
Black History at the Johnson House
Osiris Wildfire, jazz guitarist presents, Folk from the Underground Railroad – A Tribute to Richie Havens. Havens was an American singer-songwriter whose music encompassed elements of folk, soul, and rhythm and blues. He was the opening act for the historic Woodstock, and Wildfire will pay homage to him at the Johnson House Historic Site—Philadelphia’s only accessible and intact stop on the Underground Railroad. Check it out on Saturday, February 22 at 5pm or Sunday, February 23 at 1pm. Feel free to RSVP via email, [email protected], and keep in mind that donations are welcome.
Curtis 20/21 Ensemble’s #Persona
The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble presents #Persona, the second of three programs in the contemporary music ensemble’s current season. The program combines works by past and living composers to explore the concept of identity through composition. The performance is live on Saturday, February 22 at 8pm in Gould Rehearsal Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music. If you can’t make it out, the program will be live-streamed on YouTube.
In the Name of Peace
The Museum of the American Revolution is screening the acclaimed 2017 Irish documentary In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America on Tuesday, February 25 at 6pm. The film chronicles the life and work of John Hume, one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process.
Following the screening, director Maurice Fitzpatrick and Craig Snyder, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, will answer audience questions.
The evening will include special evening access to the Museum’s special exhibition, Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier, which is in its final weeks, from 5:15-6pm.
Dance Up Close
Philadelphia Dance Projects’ Dance Up Close Festival continues on Wednesday, February 26 and Thursday, February 27 at Christ Church Neighborhood House with choreographers Megan Mazarick in Boundaries & Other Works, and Marion Ramirez in kNots & Nest. Both performances are at 7pm.
Boundaries and Other Works is a series of dance theater sketches and movement vignettes with political subject matter inspired by the intersection of separate-ness and national identity. The work will be accompanied by singer Jess Conda and drummer Mel Gervasio.
Ramirez says of her work, kNots & Nest, “I use dance as a tool for experiencing bodily agency and empathy.”
Tickets are available online.