August 5-11, 2004
The Philly scene is fine, but there are only so many opportunities here for a dance company to take to the stage. Meanwhile, members of Phrenic New Ballet want to perform more, so they're looking to hit the road. They recently appeared at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and this spring the company held auditions in New York, from which they picked up two new dancers: Andrea Berkley and Rhea Roderick. It's a change for this group, where the corps members are either currently or formerly of the Pennsylvania Ballet; co-director Christine Cox believes the new blood will help the ensemble establish a distinct identity.
We get to see where that identity is headed when the troupe appears at the Arts Bank next week. Phrenic's own Matthew Neenan presents a new work, "Wonder Why," set to music by Sinead O'Connor. Jodie Gates' "In the Arms of Morpheus" (2001), inspired by the Greco-Roman god of sleep, is revived. The piece is revised with new video and reworkings of certain sections; however, the theme still revolves around psychic connections to dreams and reality. Guest choreographer Lauri Stallings, of Chicago-based Hubbard Street Dance Company presents "Life in Your Front Pocket," with movement that Cox says "stretched us vertically and horizontally our thighs were really pumped." It's quite a romp, too, as Cox confides, "There's a double bed in it and we've already broken the bed."
Phrenic New Ballet, Wed., Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m., Thu.-Sat., Aug.12-14, 8 p.m., $25-$30, The Arts Bank, 601 S. Broad St., 215-569-9700.