Philadelphia Dance Projects (PDP) supports contemporary dance through projects that encourage artists and audiences to more fully participate and engage in the experience and pursuit of dance as an evolving form. PDP began as a three year mentoring project (1993–95) under the aegis of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Today, the organization serves the regional performance community and works to build and sustain an audience for contemporary dance in Philadelphia through a range of presenting programs, classes, and workshops. A 2008 Center grant supported the creation of the Philadelphia Dance Projects Presents series, and a 2009 grant supported the Local Dance History Project, examining the development of contemporary dance in Philadelphia through the work of five dance and movement artists during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2018, the Center-funded Old City Arts History Project further explores this era and investigates the arts in relationship to place, with research into the legacy and influence of artists working in Old City, Philadelphia.
The Local Dance History Project examined the development of contemporary dance in Philadelphia through the work of five dance and movement artists who were among the first to explore postmodern, improvisation, and performance genres in the city during the late 1970s and early '80s. Composer Dan Martin and dancers Michael Biello, Jano Cohen, Terry Fox, and Ishmael Houston Jones, originally presented a 1980 performance at the Harold Prince Theater at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, which was later featured in the publication Dance & Dancers. The same five artists reunited to reconstruct their work, which was performed in this iteration by young Philadelphia dance artists as part of the "Philadelphia Dance Projects Presents" season in 2010. A catalog entitled Re-Generation was published to commemorate the Local Dance History Project, with photos and commentary by the 18 artists who participated in the reconstruction.