PHILADANCO performs a diverse selection of pieces, putting a twist on modern dance

Molly Ford

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts hosted the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) on Sept. 28. The audience also had the opportunity to attend a pre-performance talk with company founder Joan Myers Brown. Brown has experienced many accomplishments in the international dance world. Her experience with racial prejudice inspired Brown to train young black dancers and provide them with opportunities to perform. PHILADANCO is founded on the basis of integration and equal opportunity not only in modern dance, but ballet as well. Brown’s simple goal turned into an exceptionally successful international dance company.

Audience members were impressed with the company’s performance. Kelly Knox, associate professor of dance, articulated why she loved the performance, hightlighting the group’s diverse repertory.

“With all of the different choreography they were performing, the dancers had to be well versed in ballet with clean lines, pirouettes and leg extensions,” Knox said. “They also had to understand Horton and African techniques while being able to incorporate an integrated, full body experience of modern [and] a hip hop piece to top it all off.”

“The dancers showed immense strength while also showing incredible beauty,” Kelsey Fletcher ’14 said.

For Fletcher, the highlight of PHILADANCO’s performance was the piece performed atop a table. She was impressed with how effortlessly the dancers jumped and danced on a tall table.

Knox also commented not only on “the exceptional ability of the dancers,” but also on the “range of pieces, and elegant and vibrant design elements.”

“The audience didn’t just see technique; we saw human beings oozing with vitality and creating universes with their bodies,” Knox said.

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