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choreoBASH is a Smashing Success!
Photo: Eli Ambron

choreoBASH is a Smashing Success!

by Carolyn Merritt


What do you get when you combine Philadelphia’s dance community, thINKingDANCE (tD) writers and readers and family and friends, fantastic food and drink, hours of fun music, and a stunning dance space? Our first live fundraising event, choreoBASH!   We modeled the evening loosely on Belgium’s bal moderne, and invited three of Philadelphia’s dance stars to get us up and moving with short, fun choreographies. Amy Smith kickstarted the evening by setting Headlong’s classic urban folk dance, Car Alarm, on everyone.

*All photos within article by Kat J. Sullivan

Adapting an exercise from Dancing for Justice, Jumatatu Poe had us rotate as one pulsating, rhythmic organism around the Performance Garage stage.

And Matthew Neenan taught a sneak-peak excerpt of his newest work, set to music by Laurie Anderson, just before its premiere at Pennsylvania Ballet.

Co-hosts Phyllis and Phil (Lindsay Browning and Scott McPheeters) moved us from laughter to tears with their quirky comedy on all things Philly dance and dance writing.

We acknowledged Terri Shockley's lifetime achievement in dance and her long service to the community with the CEC. Terry Fox presented a gift and Lela Aisha Jones/Flyground performed an excerpt of Jesus and Egun, her recent, Bessie-nominated work, to honor Shockley.

Both Jones and Jeanne Ruddy, who kindly donated the Performance Garage space for choreoBASH, spoke of the extraordinary value of thINKingDANCE’s writing to emerging and established artists in Philadelphia.

tD writer and mixologist Scott Rodrigue kept spirits high as he served up gimlets, corpse killers, bee’s knees, and other classic cocktails. And DJ Garrett Schmidt kept us grooving into the wee hours of the night.

An enormous thank you to the organizations who so generously donated to choreoBASH:

Performance Garage, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Stone & Key Cellars, Faber Distilling, The Belgian Cafe, High Point Catering, Fare Restaurant, Philadelphia Argentine Tango School, La Colombe, Grace Winery, Philadelphia Dance Projects, and Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series,  

To our planning committee:   Jonathan Stein, Chris Deephouse, Julius Ferraro, Terry Fox, Patricia Graham, and Carolyn Merritt,

To our marketing team:   Janna Meiring, Nicole Bindler, Jenna Horton, and Whitney Weinstein,

To our tech volunteers:   John Bezark, Garrett Schmidt, Koofreh Umoren, and Kat Sullivan,

And to all our event volunteers:     Scott Rodrigue, Lynn Brooks, Kirsten Kaschock and family, Rhonda Moore, Jenna Horton, Anna Drozdowski, Karl Surkan and family, Zornitsa Stoyanova, and Megan Bridge.

If you missed choreoBASH, there is still time to contribute to our critical annual fundraiser. Your support keeps our dedicated writers and editors going for another year, funds our ongoing education, and allows us to develop innovative programming like audience engagement initiatives and writing projects with Philadelphia youth. We have now published over 900 rigorously edited articles on dance and performance—covering local, national, and international artists—and we are read in over 140 countries. And we’re still free to all readers.

thINKingDANCE depends for a majority of its budget on supporters like you, so please consider a donation if you haven’t yet contributed. If you joined us for choreoBASH or donated, our heartiest of THANKS!

To make your tax deductible donatoin to tD, make your check payable to "Philadelphia Dance Projects" with "thINKingDANCE" in the memo field. Mail it to:

c/o Chris Deephouse, Treasurer
622 Elkins Ave
Elkins Park PA 19027

choreoBASH, The Performance Garage, November 2, 7-9pm.

By Carolyn Merritt
November 21, 2017

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