CEC Community Festival
A day dedicated to African dance, drumming and community building! The daylong conference starts at 9 a.m. with a Drum Call and Meet and Greet, and it ends with a dance party to benefit the CEC. In between, there will be dance and drumming classes, film screenings and a panel discussion.
This festival is about the cultural traditions of African dance and drumming, community building, and hope. Daryl “Kwasi” Burgee, who is a master drummer and community leader, has voluntarily managed one of the African dance classes at the CEC for nearly 20 years and believes that the practice of African dance and drumming can be a powerful vehicle for building community.
The screening will be of “Renaissance on Sacred Ground,” a Scribe Sacred Places film that tells the story of Philadelphia’s legendary African dance artist Arthur Hall and the Ile Lfe Black Humanitarian Center, now the Village of Arts and Humanities; and “Making a Homeplace,” the story of the historically black neighborhood of Swarthmore. The films will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers and Scribe Executive Director Louis Massiah.
The drum workshop will be taught by visiting instructor and master drummer M’Memba Bangoura of Guinea. This will be followed by two dance workshops where Atito Gohi will teach dances of the Ivory Coast. Known for his mask dances, he has taught dance and performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including with the National Ballet of Ivory. CEC’s own Ama Schley, a dancer with the city’s premier African dance company, Kulu Mele African Dance and Drum Ensemble, will teach Afro-Cuban orisha dances.
The conference day ends with a panel discussion titled “Developing a Cultural Agenda through the Practice of African Dance and Drum Traditions.” The panel, made up of several community leaders, will share with us their perspective on community: What is it, and how is it created and developed? The discussion will be facilitated by Bryn Mawr dance professor and Temple doctoral candidate C. Kamal Nance.
Community Education Center at 3500 Lancaster Ave.
Saturday, April 28, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. festival and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. party fundraiser
Full-day ticket: $40; dance party: $15
Oleg Gershman’s “December Art”
“December Art” follows the story of several paralyzed teens and their families in their quest for self-expression. Through their participation in the Artistic Realization Technologies and Sound-beam programs at The Bancroft School at Voorhees Pediatric Facility, both teens finds the ability to express themselves and share their visions of beauty with a world they struggle to be part of.
A.R.T. is an advanced system for helping those with physical challenges to realize their artistic vision on a canvas. Sound-beam is a system that helps those same children to create music through movement.
James Oliver Gallery at 723 Chestnut St., fourth floor
Saturday, April 28, 6 p.m.
Entertainments Sacred and Profane
In the 17th century, composer Giacomo Carissimi set out to create a rival form of spiritual entertainment to the opera and thus invented the oratorio. These pieces of music-theater were usually based on biblical narratives of the Old Testament and treated with a theatrical flair and format. Two of his most dramatic and riveting works are based on the story of Jonah and the Whale and the conversion of the Ninevites, as well as the story of the poor daughter of Jephte who foolishly bargains with God that he will sacrifice the first person he encounters if he is victorious in battle.
Choral Arts will perform two of Giacomo Carissimi’s masterpieces, “Jephte” and “Jonas,” in concert April 28 with the story of Judas Maccabeus in David Ludwig’s contemporary take on the oratorio “Hanukkah Cantata,” commissioned by Choral Arts in 2006.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 1625 Locust St.
Saturday, April 28, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $30; $10 for students
Pennsylvania Ballet’s “Peter Pan”
Escape to Neverland with this whimsical ballet starring the boy who never grew up. Based on the classic story by Sir James M. Barrie, “Peter Pan” takes you on an adventure with all your favorite characters, including the Darling children and Captain Hook himself.
Choreographer Trey McIntyre reinterprets the fairy tale with a twist for the new millennium, complete with spectacular flying sequences, swashbuckling swordfights, and costumes inspired by punk fashion. “Peter Pan” is the perfect introduction to dance for audiences of all ages.
Academy of Music at 240 S. Broad St.
Thursday, May 3 through Sunday, May 13
Tickets: $20-140; student/rush tickets available two hours before showtime