Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, Philly’s favorite contemporary circus company/festival producer is set to take their signature, award-winning work of acrobatic storytelling around the Northeast this summer.
The Philadelphia-based company is bringing Communitas to several states. This thrilling work will start its tour in Philadelphia on July 22. From there it will run at The Tank and in Golda Meir Square in New York City on July 23 and July 25. Following New York, the ensemble stops in Western Connecticut to work with filmmaker Sean Kelly. Then, Almanac takes this work to the famed Jacob’s Pillow Festival on July 27 before bringing it to Bearnstow in Maine on July 28. More information on the tour and the company is available at www.thealmanac.us.
“I am very happy to have the opportunity to reinvestigate this piece for our performance opportunity at the Henry J. Leir Stage at Jacob’s Pillow,” says co-founder and Artistic Director Ben Grinberg. “ I want to make sure that this is a joyous, yet rigorous process so that we bring the best work we can to a true dream performance destination.”
In Communitas, human sculptures and acrobatic encounters animate the tale of the founding of a civilization. Four performers tumble, climb, fly and fall in a physical language of storytelling in action. An original musical score by award-winning hip hop artist and composer Jordan McCree (ILL DOOTS) intensifies the relationship between performers at the edge of their abilities and an audience witnessing genuine risk. By the end of its duration, performers will have come face-to-face with their own limitations and exhaustion, and together strive to overcome them.
“Communitas is in constant evolution. As we change, the show changes. We wrestle with balance and instability to tap into what’s real for the five of us,” says co-founder Adam Kerbel. “The goal is to create something that’s living. It’s the right moment to explore Communitas as a film project, too.”
A ‘communitas’ is an unstructured society in which individuals are equal. Created and continually re-invented by a collective ensemble through a non-hierarchical creation process, Communitas has been performed often over the last 10 years. It reflects the changing bodies and energies of the ensemble as they grow, learn, and wisen.
Saturday, July 22, 6 pm: Pig Iron School, 1417 N 2nd St, Philadelphia
Sunday, July 23, 3 pm: The Tank, 312 W 36th St, New York, NY, tickets here: https://ci.ovationtix.com/35658/production/1172029?performanceId=11329834
Tuesday, July 25, 12 pm: Garment District Alliance @ Golda Meir Square, 1411 Broadway (40th Street), New York, NY
Thursday, July 27, 7 pm: Jacob’s Pillow Summer Dance Festival, Becket, Mass.
Friday, July 28, 6 pm: Bearnstow, Mt. Vernon, Maine
Artists in Communitas
Nicole Burgio: With extensive experience in gymnastics, circus, and physical theater, Nicole Burgio fervently pursues movement through performance, aesthetics, technique, and education. Nicole is proud to have been an acrobatic consultant and ensemble member of Almanac. She toured America, Europe, Asia, and Mexico performing original and ensemble work, and leading educational intensives. Her solo evening-length production xoxo moongirl (produced by Almanac) received critical acclaim at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, winning a Barrymore award in Philadelphia in 2019. As founder of The Ready Room, Nicole joyfully strives to foster an inclusive and empowering space for teaching movement and balance to all walks of life. @nicoleburgio
Ben Grinberg: Ben Grinberg is a Philadelphia-based artist, director, and educator working at the intersection of contemporary circus and ensemble dance theatre. He is the Artistic Director and a co-founder of Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, a Barrymore-winning and internationally touring physical performance ensemble, and a founding core faculty member at Circadium, the nation’s first certificate program in contemporary circus performance. Presentations: FringeArts, NYLA, Bill T. Jones, Mexico City International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Assembly Festival, and Circus Now. Education: Pig Iron School and U. Penn. Faculty: Pig Iron/UArts MFA. He collaborates with Pig Iron, Theatre Horizon, Eiko Otake, and Jaamil Kosoko. @phlegmatic_humour
Lauren Johns: Lauren Johns (LJ) has taken the stage in many forms: a dancer, a pageant queen, an actor, a clown, an acrobat. In many forms, but always with the same attempt at uncovering a new performance. An honors graduate from the University of the Arts, Lauren has performed everywhere from the streets of Philadelphia and Mexico to the Guggenheim. In addition to creation and performance, she is also passionate about creating opportunities for other professional artists as a co-founder of Cannonball Festival and the MAAS Building Artist Residency. Now living in upstate NY, LJ seeks out her next form. @lauren_jawns
Adam Kerbel: Adam Kerbel is an artist, director, and educator developing new work and communities of improvisers. Based in Saint Louis, MO, Adam co-founded Almanac Dance Circus Theatre in Philadelphia and was a beloved storyteller and puppeteer at Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. His presentations have received support from Rosanna Gamson/World Wide, Los Angeles Dept. of Cultural Affairs, NYLA–Fresh Tracks, CircusNow and Links Hall. Recently, Adam taught improvisation and choreographed Toxic City at Breaking Walls Festival in Cairo, Egypt, and premiered two works, Motion Sickness and Twitch, at Cannonball Festival. Education: Marymount Manhattan Coll. and Headlong Performance Institute. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordan McCree: Jordan McCree is an artist based in Philadelphia. Their most recent collaborations include Sandblasted (Theatre Horizon), The World Takes (short film), Eternal Life Part 1 (The Wilma Theater), Empathitrax (Philadelphia Theatre Company), The Karamazovs (feature film), and Fat Ham (2021 World Premiere, The Wilma Theater). In 2022, they were one of the grant recipients of the 1/52 Project. They are also a member of Philly-based, Barrymore Award-winning hip hop collective ILL DOOTS. Their music is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and more! #ILLMOVEMENT | ILLDOOTS.COM@j__o__r__d__n
Richie Alderete (Performer Alternate): One of Philadelphia’s newest residents, Richie Alderete is a passionate acrobat, circus performer, and teacher who aspires to delight audiences and inspire students. Richie taught himself to tumble as a youth and couldn’t help but share his knowledge and passion with his younger siblings. In high school, Richie found cheerleading, where he could further develop his tumbling and years later begin his journey as a partner acrobat. Richie also dove deep into the world of weightlifting and calisthenics to build a well-rounded understanding of fitness and kinesthetics. Richie is dedicated whole-heartedly to partner acro, hand balancing, contortion, and professional circus. @richie.flip
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre is an award-winning, Philadelphia-based, contemporary circus company dedicated to original works of genre-defying art. Since its founding, Almanac has premiered 11 full-length shows, touring across the US and internationally in Mexico and the UK. Almanac’s virtuosic improvised and commissioned performances have been featured at Philadelphia Museum of Art, FringeArts, New York Live Arts, New York Botanical Gardens, and beyond. Almanac is additionally known for innovative, community-centered event productions exemplified by its acclaimed festival programming and artist incubator programs. Almanac artists span performance, education, production, and advocacy by doing more together than we can apart. | thealmanac.us@almanac_us
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