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FringeArts Needs You To Dance All The Way Down 5th Street In South Philly, And You May Need To, Too

FringeArts Needs You To Dance All The Way Down 5th Street In South Philly, And You May Need To, Too

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On September 7th, 13th, and 14th — smack dab during this year’s Fringe Festival, much of which has just been announced — one of the more ambitious pieces of programming of the whole festival will be out on the street, as FringeArts brings Mexcian choreographer Mariana Arteaga’s Úumbal: Nomadic Choreography for Inhabitants to 5th Street in South Philadelphia. We tell you this because all Philadelphians are invited to participate: Open call auditions will be held Tuesday, July 2nd, 6:30-9pm, and Tuesday, July 9th, 6:30-9pm at Bok. No previous dance experience is required, and people don't have to prepare anything in advance. Those interested can sign up and learn more here

What’s it all about? It’s about a lot more than the aughties’ flash mob experience it may look like on first glance:

Choreographer Mariana Arteaga developed Úumbal (Mayan for “balance”) in response to an incident in 2014, when forty-three students disappeared from Ayotzinapa, Mexico, presumed murdered by criminal gangs or the authorities that enabled them. She watched as the Mexican government repressed the mass protests in the wake of the disappearance. If repression could be choreographed, she mused, so could joy. She saw in her practice of collective dance the opportunity to reclaim public space for pedestrians, for communities, for joy.

First performed in Mexico City, Úumbal makes its U.S. premiere as part of the 2019 Fringe Festival. Arteaga and her local collaborators set up collection points in various neighborhoods to solicit dance steps from everyday Philadelphians. A group of local volunteers helped mold these contributions into a 100-person performance that includes movement, choreography, and choreographic actions in public spaces along the streets, parks, and sidewalks of South Philadelphia. Join as a nomadic companion and participate in this joyful procession.

You can see steps and find out a lot more here. Step to it, South Philly: Tomorrow’s open call will be the last one. 

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