Jazz Appreciation Month
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and Philadelphia is ready to celebrate! This city has an extraordinary jazz heritage, beginning with Ethel Waters and extending to John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Stan Getz, Dizzie Gillespie and other music luminaries, all of whom set the stage for the vibrant jazz scene the city still enjoys today.
This is the 11th anniversary of the Jazz Appreciation Month program, created by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Throughout the month, Philadelphia plays host to a number of jazz performances by groups, soloists and the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble.
Now through Saturday, April 21
BalletX’s “Spring Series 2012”
In “Spring Series 2012,” BalletX will explore a diverse repertoire of music and dance with choreography set to the music of J.S. Bach and American indie rock band Beirut, presented by nationally and internationally recognized choreographers Jodie Gates, Edwaard Liang and Matthew Neenan. The first piece in “Spring Series 2012” is a world premiere by former Joffrey and Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer Jodie Gates, who returns to BalletX with an all-new work following her 2009 debut, “Le Baiser Inevitable” (The Inevitable Kiss). Gates boasts an outstanding body of work, is a recipient of an Altria Fellowship, and has choreographed for Berlin’s Staatsballett and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City.
The series will continue with “Largo” by internationally recognized choreographer Edwaard Liang, which had its BalletX premiere in 2009. The piece is set to the music of J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” and inspired by the decorative tableaux “Progress of Love” by French painter Jean-Honore Fragonard. His choreography is featured on the Kirov Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet, among others.
Lastly, BalletX will present “The Last Glass” by Matthew Neenan, which received critical acclaim during its 2010 premiere. “The Last Glass” is a striking and whimsical ballet set to the music of American indie rock band Beirut. Cox said, “The ballet was an instant favorite of our audiences, and we sold out performances during the summer 2010 premiere.” Neenan has received numerous awards and public recognition for his choreography from the National Endowment of the Arts, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Choo San Goh Foundation, and The Jerome Robbins NEW Program Fellowship, among others.
BalletX is pleased to announce that it will return the popular “eXpand the eXperience” program with surprise pop-up performances by local artists during “Spring Series 2012.”
BalletX at 265 S. Broad St.
Wednesday, April 18 through Sunday, April 22
Tickets: $35; $22 for students
The Philadelphia Science Festival 2012
Back by popular demand, the Philadelphia Science Festival is a citywide collaboration showcasing the impact of science and technology’s past, present and future. The festival builds on Philadelphia’s own rich history of innovation with dozens of lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibits and other informal learning experiences at museums, libraries, and even street corners and concert halls. More than 105 institutions are collaborating to produce the Festival, which will include an opening night party, science film festival, a “Science Night” with the Phillies, a carnival, robotics night, tons of tastings and workshops for foodies, and talks on everything from drugs and chocolate to vaccines, music and beer. Visit the website for a complete calendar of events!
Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 29
Foundation Drawing with Artist Jennifer Scott
Beginning April 17, James Oliver Gallery is hosting a weekly figure drawing open studio session. Instructor Jennifer Scott is an educational professional with 10 years experience as a community developer, urban youth educator and arts administrator. As an eternal student with a love of visual process, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art from the College of the Ozarks and a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Classes are open to the public and include a live model with light refreshments provided. All are welcome to Washington Square’s first official Drawing Group!
James Oliver Gallery at 723 Chestnut St., fourth floor
Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m.
The Yoga of Poet-tree in Motion
In honor of National Poetry Month, ”The Art of Poet-tree En Motion” workshop with Gabrielle de Burke explores the intrinsic arts of dance, movement theater, written and spoken word, and yoga and chi-kung.
Through dance and movement theater activities, we will engage in communicating the language of the body to let it speak its authentic truths. We will be using writing exercises and practicing recitation to allow the power of those words being spoken to serve as reminders of how we can break the limitations that sometimes exist in the fixed space of the page. Integrating all of these artistic media through the ancient practices of Yogic and Chi-kung (Qi-gong) breathing techniques, posture flows and still meditative positions allows us to bring a focused and grounded discipline to how we approach creating art with mindful intention, body awareness and positive spirit. Registration is required by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 484-557-9605.
The Rotunda at 40th and Walnut streets
Wednesday, April 25, 4:30-6 p.m.
Admission: pay-what-you-can between $10-20