Dancers turn the Schuylkill into an ‘Invisible River’

Aerial dancers will swing beneath Strawberry Mansion Bridge during "Invisible River." Credit: JJ Tiziou/ www.jjtiziou.net
Aerial dancers will swing beneath Strawberry Mansion Bridge during “Invisible River.”
Credit: JJ Tiziou/ www.jjtiziou.net

Seen from the proper vantage point, the Schuylkill River can be one of Philadelphia’s loveliest, most bucolic settings. But as choreographer Alie Vidich points out, the banks along Kelly Drive aren’t always the best place to take in that view. “There’s always a sense of being rushed,” she says, “with all the joggers and runners along Kelly Drive. Even the river itself often has a frenetic pace because of all the boating activity.”

On the next two Sundays, Vidich hopes to change people’s perspective on the Schuylkill and their relationship with it in “Invisible River,” the latest performance piece by her dance theater company, Alie & The Brigade. The piece will greet visitors with a carnival of colorful animal sculptures created by artists from SpArc Philadelphia, a program for people with cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities. An ensemble of nine singing dancers will perform composer Elliott Harvey’s choral compositions while, in the distance, a pair of aerial dancers swing beneath Strawberry Mansion Bridge.

“We want to slow down the sense of time that you naturally feel when you’re in that area,” Vidich says. “Even though the piece is spectacle, it doesn’t have a quickness to it. We’re trying to create an environment that asks whether this frenetic pace that we constantly operate on reflects back on how we look at the environment around us.”

After the performances, Vidich will speak to the audience about her hopes for an annual performing arts festival on the Schuylkill. Food will be available from Cosmic Cafe and Little Baby’s Ice Cream.

This is not the first time Vidich has ventured out onto the Schuylkill. In 2010 and 2011, she explored local history in works that took audience members into the water on canoe journeys. While viewers will stay on dry ground for this piece, Vidich still hopes to awaken awareness of the river and to advocate for swimming access to its waters. “I look at the rivers that are on both sides of our city,” she says. “We have so few recreational opportunities that aren’t walking, jogging or running, and boating is a very expensive sport for people to partake in. So for me, this is about psychologically reconnecting to your environment.”

 

“Invisible River”

June 16 and 23

Strawberry Mansion Bridge

Audience parking at 2200 Kelly Dr.

Free

www.alieandthebrigade.org

 

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.