As fall approaches, the 16th Annual Live Arts Festival and always surprising Philly Fringe return to Philadelphia on Sept. 7–22.
Taking place in venues throughout the city, the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe “supports artists and brings the world’s newest and most cutting-edge cultural experiences to our city, amplifying the vibrancy of Philadelphia as a renowned cultural center and an unparalleled place to live, work and visit.” In 2012, approximately 14 Live Arts shows will be presented.
While the Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe run simultaneously, there is a distinct difference between the two. “The Philly Fringe, the folks who participate in that, there’s no judge, jury or anybody who tells them whether they can be part of it or not,” says Producing Director Nick Stuccio. “They tell us where they’re performing and we sell their tickets for them. But the Live Arts is stuff that we go out and we say, ‘We like this.’ So the Live Arts Festival is about a curatorial overview, and the Philly Fringe is about access. It’s about anybody and everybody having an adventure of discovery, and the Fringe is our vision about what’s happening in contemporary performance.”
Highlights of the 2012 Live Arts Festival include Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s “red, black & GREEN; a blues” playing at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on September 21 and 8 p.m. on September 22.
The organizers state that the interactive installation and performance “blends both spoken word, music, film and contemporary and hip-hop dance to re-imagine a green movement that is inclusive of black and brown voices, and posits that valuing life is the first step to valuing the planet.” Immersing audiences in a new mode of “kinetic performance,” “red, black & GREEN: a blues” strives to unite communities around a broader definition of “sustainable living” and to be a catalyst for cultural and creative engagement.
Creator Marc Bamuthi Joseph says, “I am of the belief that the movement for social change and environmental accountability are one and the same, that focusing on steps to sustain the planet ultimately forces us to envision a pathway to sustaining humanity.”
Tickets for “red, black & GREEN: a blues” are available only at the Annenberg Center box office, 3680 Walnut St., at pennpresents.org and by calling (215) 898-3900.
For highly adventurous dance lovers, there is the debut of Jumatatu Poe’s “Private Places,” which “plays with the stylized movement of the service industry and the high-powered approach of J-sette, a dance culture developed in Black gay clubs with roots in drill team and majorette events of southern historically Black universities.” The piece, which involves nudity, is recommended for ages 16 and up.
“Only when September comes — and you see all these shows at once — are the ideas, explorations, and crazy, creative concoctions of the artists truly revealed. The Festival has a life of its own that cannot be pre-determined. It is live in the true sense of the word,” Stuccio says.
All Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe tickets are now available for purchase online at www.livearts-fringe.org, or by calling (215) 413-1318. For box office hours, a complete performance schedule and additional ticketing information, visit www.livearts-fringe.org.