In the News: Performance Projects from Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College, Iquail Shaheed, and Theatre Exile

18 Nov 2015


Chopin Without Piano, produced by Centrala, Warsaw, conceived and written by Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka, directed by Michał Zadara. Chopin performed by Barbara Wysocka. Photo by Natalia Kabanow. Courtesy of Swarthmore College.


Figure 8, performed by the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Photo © Thibault Gregoire, 2013.


Dance Iquail. Photo by Rachel Neville. Pictured: Iquail Shaheed and Allison Sale.

A number of ongoing and recently completed Center-funded projects have filled theater houses and garnered extensive media coverage.

After being included in The New York Times' season highlights, Bryn Mawr College's ongoing, year-long retrospective Trisha Brown: In the New Body was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer. In describing Brown's Proscenium Works (1979-2011), The Inquirer wrote that the works enable audiences to "stretch forward and backward, and, much like Brown's innovations, extend our upward grasp." Dance Magazine remarked that "even today, Trisha Brown's rule-breaking experiments in weight, gravity, and coordination reveal new layers of complexity with each viewing."

Read more about Trisha Brown: In the New Body in WHYY and The Dance Journal.

Swarthmore College's North American premiere of Chopin Without Piano revealed unique insights into Fryderyk Chopin as both a historical figure and a masterful composer, with performances at Swarthmore's Lang Concert Hall and at FringeArts in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer applauded the production for being "a very contemporized rendition of all-too-familiar Romantic music," while Phindie called the performance "radically original." Broad Street Review raved that "the overall effect of the performance was highly stimulating, as [Barbara] Wysocka revealed a vivid sense of history and also a deep love for the music of Chopin."

Read more about Chopin Without Piano in The Dance Journal and Swarthmore College Daily Gazette.

Iquail Shaheed's dance-theater work Pushers, which examines the consequences of addiction through the perspectives of teens from Philadelphia's Mantua neighborhood, premiered at the Painted Bride Art Center. In an interview, The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed Shaheed's conclusion that "social-media-addicted teens...are hooked, above all, on validation. The dance he developed explores manifestations of that." Broad Street Review wrote of Shaheed, "what he's discovered through this process is that addiction is about fear of loneliness."

Theatre Exile's Rizzo, written by Pew Fellow Bruce Graham (1993) and recently on stage at Christ Church Neighborhood House, dramatized the story of the controversial political figure Frank Rizzo as he prepares for his 1991 mayoral campaign. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised Rizzo's script, writing, "Graham fashions a complex figure, still larger than life," while Phindie wrote, "the new play approaches the subject with sardonic wit, honesty, and insight, revealing the motivations behind the man who shaped the city's history." Planning and development of Rizzo was supported by a 2013 Center grant.

Read more about Rizzo in Philadelphia Daily News, WHYY, and Chestnut Hill Local.

Stay tuned for more Center news, and discover upcoming performances in our events calendar.