Nice and Fresh February: Theater, Dance + Circus!

With

Almanac Dance Theater Circus

Freshblood/KC Chun-Manning in collaboration with Camilla Dely

Asya Zlatina (featuring Ashley Searles)

Josh McIlvain/Automatic Arts (featuring Ezekiel Jackson and Sara Vanasse)

Hosted by

Sarah Knittel

with special guest The Joseph Davenport Experience featuring musical accompaniment by Betty Smithsonian

dk_almanac_aditdahtw-0396DATES

Friday February 24 at 6pm and 8pm

Saturday February 25 at 6pm and 8pm

Venue

Moving Arts of Mount Airy
6819 Greene Street (at Carpenter La.)
(Mount Airy) Philadelphia, PA 19119

 

Photo (above) by Daniel Kontz

Nice and Fresh brings new works of theater and dance by Philly’s most exciting performing artists and companies to unique venues in Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Artists need to create.
Performers need to perform.
Audiences need to see new work.

SLIDESHOW AT WHITE PINES, PERFORMANCES FEBRUARY 10 + 11

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Created and Performed by Josh McIlvain

The critically-acclaimed

show returns!

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10 8pm (tickets)
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11 8pm (tickets)

A comedic drama that features real slides from the 1950 to 1980s alongside a fictional family narrative about vacation, America, and when visions of one’s future collide with reality.

THE WHITE PINES PLACE
7908 High School Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027

SLIDESHOW is being presented by White Pines Productions as part of their 2017 Cold Hard Love winter series of theatrical performances. Check out the full list of  shows here.

“The performance is a brilliant exercise in connecting dots that lead McIlvain’s unnamed character on an epic journey with several loves.” Mark Cofta, Broad Street Review Read the full review

“This intimate performance uses real slides to unfold a gripping tale of a family as seen through the fleeting images on a screen.” Philebrity.com

“Invites the audience to be mesmerized and taken on a journey about transition, tragedy and connection.” Philadelphia City Paper

“Ingenious travel down memory lane. . . . A thought-provoking, intimate, funny and poignant journey.” Stage Magazine

thINKing DANCE article on Home Entertainment

Cliveden, Animated

Photo: Garth Herrick

Cliveden, Animated

by Lisa Kraus

Quick, what do the words “home entertainment” conjure up? Charades? Sing-alongs? Cleared furniture making space for rollicking dancing? At Cliveden, the historic Germantown mansion, Home Entertainment meant a mix of arts—dance, music, theater, performance, visual installations and video—offered in a homespun, indoor-outdoor, distinctly summertime way. MCs Ed Miller and Josh McIlvain, Home Entertainment’s mastermind, alluded to the old-timey versions of home entertainment in their patter, but the art itself turned out to be mostly of this moment.

Museums and historic places increasingly value performers who can “animate” their spaces, drawing new interest and traffic. And no wonder—discovering the performances and installations studding this estate’s landscape and interior spaces was like a treasure hunt. You saw the home, grounds and outbuildings in a new way, focusing, for instance, on a single tree, dramatically uplit for a monologue written by John Rosenberg about one tree’s importance. In a courtyard, Iva Fabrikant’s red paper light sculptures, resembling translucent, 3-D origami, stood like so many overgrown chess pieces. In a lush expanse of grass bordered by majestic trees, a fairy ring of Anna Kroll’s photographic collages with accompanying fantastical texts by Rosenberg beckoned with their intriguing (and appropriate) title—The Return of the Rock Museum. In the Kitchen Dependency (the 18th century word for a cookhouse), a tiny conceptual artwork, required kneeling to peep through a hole in the floor.

With light rain falling, the first events of the “Mains” part of the “Menu” (that’s how the program termed it) were held in the old carriage house packed with folding chairs and an SRO crowd. Folk-music duo Chickabiddy played as we filtered in, with Aaron Cromie switching between traditional-sounding banjo and mandolin and Emily Schuman on guitar, their voices melding in sensitively tuned harmonies.

The ensuing variety show included an excerpt from iStand. Lauren Putty White’s two dancers—one female and one male, one black and one white—delivered a mostly-unison string of funky, energized moves riding on Brent White’s eminently danceable recorded music. They joined hands at its close before heading their separate ways.

Intermission was an invitation to wander, checking out the performance of Kitchen, created by the MCs plus Deborah Crocker and Bradley Wrenn. In a perfect 1950’s light teal-colored kitchen, replete with chrome and aluminum cookware, the players’ repetitive cycling through test kitchen-type sandwich-making reminded a companion of Beckett’s Watt with its repetitious deadpan humor.

The outdoors slid into a velvety darkness enhanced by a soft warm wind. How right then to bring the audience back together with Chickabiddy’s gentle sound.

What followed was anything but gentle. Poet Yolanda Wisher’s the ballad of laura nelson was rendered as a video (concept and editing by McIlvain and music by Brent White). Gradually meted out, Wisher’s words were projected in white on a black background, interspersed with just enough images of the 1911 lynching of Nelson and her son to sear into the mind forever. This poem, delivered in this way, on this comfortable summer evening, with a diverse neighborhood crowd out for pleasure, was particularly effective in making racial injustice visceral. I imagined the poem’s images as thoughts coursing through Nelson’s mind before the hanging. The anguish of this mother and her fear for her son resonate powerfully with the events of our day.

Add to this the knowledge that this video was projected on the high stone wall of a space where enslaved people lived and toiled. A neutral theater space could never convey an equally deep experience of this important work.

With the rain, I missed a full viewing of Maybe Rome Did Fall in Day, an installation by Henrick Fergusten, though its two dancers did slink along satiny red bands of fabric indoors. Other “acts” included Ed Miller Listens to a Song, in which he did just that, wryly guiding us through highlights in a Joan Armatrading classic with some personal narrative mixed in; My Yiddische Mommeh, a dance by Asya Zlatina to the eponymous song; Thom Jacand the Caretaker, a short play by McIlvain for two guys navigating a challenging moment; and It’s Jolly, a goofy monologue with horse marionette by Gwendolyn Rooker about Jolly, “the sperm-eating horse.” That must be why the evening had a parental advisory.

Home Entertainment wasn’t the first Automatic Arts event at Cliveden, where the group has presented its Nice and Fresh series several times previously. As a Germantown resident, I walked to it with several neighbors. As a bunch, we were definitely entertained, and moved, and hope there will be more to come.

Home Entertainment produced by Automatic Arts in partnership with Cliveden. August 5 & 6. https://automaticartsco.com/

By Lisa Kraus
August 10, 2016

Nice and Fresh: February 2016

“The best showcase for new performing arts in Philadelphia.” Phindie.com

Nice and Fresh: Pop Up Performances of New Theater and Dance

Friday February 19 at 6pm and 8pm

Saturday February 20 at 6pm and 8pm

Thanks for coming!

Moving Art of Mount Airy
6819 Greene Street (at Carpenter La.)
Mount Airy, Philadelphia

Featured new stuff by 

Thomas Choinacky

Loren Groenendaal/Vervet Dance

Baby Steps
with Megan Thibodeaux and Andalyn Young

Josh McIlvain/SmokeyScout Productions
with Julius Ferraro and Katherine Perry

Plus the 7-Minute Exhibition featuring a new work by Iva Fabrikant

NOTE: Mature audiences. Not a kids show!

Megan

Nice and Fresh Spring Series at Cliveden!

Nice and Fresh: May

performances of new theater and dance

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Friday May 22 at 7pm
Saturday May 23 at 6pm + 23

Thanks for coming!

Home/Bastard
by Annie Wilson
The bastard is bedridden. Bastard is in pain.

National Park
Text, direction, and video by Josh McIlvain, dance by Deborah Crocker, original score by Andres Villamil
Dancer: Deborah Crocker. Actors: Lauren LeBlanc and Jonathan Steadman.
A multimedia extravaganza that takes you from the Rocky Mountains to a man’s bathroom.

The Mystery of Jean
Created by {HTP}: Manon Manavit and Julius Ferraro. Written by Jean Cocteau.
There’s something in the suitcase.

A Prairie Dance, For Now!
by Laura Vriend. Dancer: Rachel Carrico
She followed me from my hometown of Winnipeg, Canada. Her name is Prairie Girl.

Cliveden

6401 Germantown Avenue (enter on Cliveden)
Germantown, Philadelphia

Read up on the artists!

Nice and Fresh is a monthly performing arts series that features new works from Philadelphia-based (and beyond) theater, dance, and circus arts companies at venues in Northwest Philadelphia. Each show features four artists/companies performing new and original 10- to 15-minute works in a variety of styles and artistic disciplines. Read the reviews and press.

“‘Nice and Fresh’ curated show series gains popularity in Northwest Philly.” read the article about January’s show by Alaina Mabaso in WHYY NewsWorks!

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Cliveden, one of America’s most well-preserved historic sites, is located in Historic Germantown, Philadelphia, on 5 acres of land right off of Germantown Avenue. The 1767 building, site of the Battle of Germantown, remains one of the nation’s best-documented and least-altered colonial houses. Performances are in the Carriage House, below.

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Nice and Fresh: February!

sandraDavisspoonsPhoto (above): Bill Hebert.

Friday February 27 at 6pm + 8pm
Saturday February 28 at 6pm + 8pm

Moving Arts of Mount Airy
Greene St and Carpenter La
Mt Airy (across from the Co-op), Philadelphia

A great show, thanks for coming!

Sarah and Anna

Magick and Glitter
Hella Fresh Theater / performed by Anna Flynn-Meketon and Sarah Knittel; written by John Rosenberg. In short: A sorority girl who wants Magick the Magician’s to autograph her teddy bear befriends the magician’s assistant.

monster
Created and performed by Megan Mazarick. In short: An evolving solo dance by Megan Mazarick, “When I was in Egypt in 2014 I finally figured out I am a lady. I know, right? How depressing. So part of making this solo is about being unlady-like or facing female identity in new ways.”

Lords of the Universe or FIVE YEARS IS TOO LONG TO WORK HERE
SmokeyScout Productions / performed by Fred Brown and josh McIlvain; written and directed by Josh McIlvain. In short: Two men lord over the masses from their perch at a café, overly obsessed with the girls who make their coffee, and a belief that they are still in the game.

Where are the Spoons?
Flower in the Storm
SHARP Dance Company / Choreography by Diane Sharp-Nachsin / Dancers: Joe Cicala, Sandra Davis, Sophie Malin, Miguel Quinones, Kate Rast. In short: Two short works from the modern dance company, one solo from there upcoming show, one a group piece about being on the wrong end of rage.

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monster

Nice and Fresh January 2015

It’s a new year and we’ve got a new . . .

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Melissa Krodman, photo by Chris Chen

Nice and Fresh January

Pop Up Performances of New Theater, Dance and Circus Arts

Missed the show? Read all about it in this article by Alaina Mabaso in NewsWorks!

At the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts 5900A Greene St (entrance on Rittenhouse) Germantown, Philadelphia Enjoy these new creations . . . The Beauty Of The Program Is_Deborah Crocker_photo by Said Johnson_4962 copy The Beauty Of The Program Is SmokeyScout Productions Performed by Deborah Crocker, written and directed by Josh McIlvain. “McIlvain’s plays are snapshots of the lives that lie behind the lighted windows of the houses we walk by at night. They are about the coping mechanisms people develop to handle everyday pressures.” Jake Blumgart, The Philadelphia Inquirer Mumuration show photo LOOKS LIKE EVERYONE HAS LEFT Murmuration Theater Performed and created by Nell Bang-Jensen, Brian Ratcliffe, and Isa St. Clair; directed by Craig Getting; written by Jessie Bear. Tangle Movement Arts 1 Touch and Unwind Rewind Created and performed by Tangle Movement Arts Tangle Movement Arts is a circus arts company with an interdisciplinary focus. “Tangle Movement Arts has a record of quality-yet-accessible shows—simultaneously lovely and exhilarating.” Julie Zeglen, Philadelphia City Paper MK Bio Headshot Sunny Days with Sea-Side Simon Created and performed by Melissa Krodman. All works are about 15 minutes. Entire show is 65 minutes. Advisory: For mature audiences. Not a kids show!