A POSTCARD From Joan Myers Brown on PHILADANCO’s Joyce Season

A POSTCARD From Joan Myers Brown on PHILADANCO’s Joyce Season

Published on June 5, 2018
Photo: Julienne Harris

The Company Returns to New York June 12-17, 2018

Hi Dance Enthusiast readers! Joan Myers Brown here, Founder and Executive/Artistic Director of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO). I founded PHILADANCO in 1970, and since then we have been recognized world-wide for our superbly trained dancers and electrifying performances. We have created a legacy of breaking barriers and building bridges across cultural divides and consistently performing for audiences representing an amalgamation of people from diverse communities. Our upcoming season at The Joyce Theatre in New York City continues that tradition.

We are so thrilled to be returning to New York City for our first full performance season at The Joyce Theater since 2012! The season will run June 12-17th and will include 4 works, 3 of which are NYC premieres!

For ticketing information, go to The Joyce website.

A head shot of Joan Myers Brown. She wears a black sweater and rests her hand under her chin.
Joan Myers Brown; Photo courtesy of PHILADANCO

Highlights from the season

The works we present this season will address many of the issues that currently affect people of color, particularly given the current political climate.

The program will open with the poetic Folded Prism by Vietnamese choreographer Thang Dao, which infuses beautiful imagery with a hypnotic score by John Levis.  

Next is the New York City premiere of A Movement for Five, an emotionally-charged work by PHILADANCO alumna Dawn Marie Bazemore, inspired by the events surrounding New York City’s “Central Park Five” incident. Set to music by Public Enemy and Sigur Ros, the piece explores the racial and economic divide in NYC during the 1980's, the intimate struggles of five young men losing their childhood, and a community struggling to heal and move forward.

Two dancers in white. One dancer extends her leg high in the air as her torso drips to the side. Her partner stands behind her and helps her balance.
PHILADANCO in Thang Dao's Folded Prism; Photo: Julienne Harris

I’ve been saving A Movement for Five to bring to The Joyce. Right now, it’s very timely. When we did it in Philadelphia, we had several of the men involved in the incident join us. We’ve invited them to join us at The Joyce as well.

New Fruit is a poignant piece by resident choreographer Christopher Huggins that offers a glimpse into the unchanged social landscape and its effects on Black and Brown bodies.

A group of men in slacks and tank tops curve their bodies to one side making a C shape with their arms

PHILADANCO in Dawn Marie Bazemore's A Movement for Five; Photo: Julienne Harris

Christopher has done a lot of work with Ailey and many people in New York are familiar with him. That is what is so great about being a repertory company; it allows us to present the works of many different choreographers, it’s not the same girl in a different dress. We have an opportunity to do something for everybody, there’s something on the program everybody will like.

Closing the program is PHILADANCO alum and Artist in Residence Tommie-Waheed Evans’ With(in) Verse. The work intertwines spirituality and sorrow by focusing on the often strong presence of these ideas when hitting rock bottom. Pastor T.L. Barrett's song "Father Stretch My Hands" becomes the embodiment of deliverance.

A dancer in a shimmery unitard smiles at the camera as she tucks her legs in a jump.
Photo: Julienne Harris


What the audience can expect

I think people that know PHILADANCO, know that we have a reputation for having very exciting programing. We call it the “Philadelphia aesthetic.” We always give them a good concert and good dance. We don’t usually do a lot of special effects, just great dancing.

What’s next

Believe it or not, our company is in its 48th year. In 2020, we’ll be 50-years-old, and my school will be 60-years-old. So we’re gearing up for that year, I call it “50/60 in 20/20.”

For the most up-to-date schedule for all PHILADANCO programming, visit http://www.philadanco.org.

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