Once again the heat index is in the nineties in Philadelphia. Armed with huge buckets of Gatorade, water, ice and a few portable fans, fourteen teenage dancers prepare for what is to be one of many, seven-hour rehearsals held each week throughout the summer. The all female cast of Music & Motion Dance is preparing to showcase their talents at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe.
This will be the second year that this group has participated in the Fringe. They are the youngest of the performance groups, with ages ranging from thirteen to eighteen. The teens are from a community of over three regional counties, Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia, often traveling up to an hour on the road each way to get to rehearsals. A particularly exceptional group of young adults, they have come together out of a love of dance and the performing arts.
Their new dance work, "Elements", is their most ambitious project yet. Featuring over twenty new dance pieces that explore the four elements of antiquity - earth, water, air and fire. Even more amazing is the fact that all of the choreography is done through a collaborative effort by the entire cast. Under the direction of Steven Weisz, founder and artistic director of Music & Motion, the group spends hours playing with movement from which new dance works literally evolve.
“The groups creativity and self-expression is rather astounding to watch,” says Weisz. Together they have created a kaleidoscope of movement and creativity drawn from these ancient elements. Each element is portrayed with a mixture of dance styles ranging from classical ballet to modern, lyrical, hip-hop, gymnastics and acrobatic dance.
Maddie Breslin, a senior dancer from Yardley, PA, states the their new work Elements is "an artistic vision joining together the roots of our planet, of our spirits and of each other. It represents something very basic in each of us and touches those who share in this dance experience with us."
While preparing for Fringe and still having an ambitious summer performance schedule ahead of them, one can sense the energy from this group. "The whole dance company is an incredible blend of talent", according to Kristen Konski of Bristol, PA, "but more importantly we are very much a family. All of the girls I dance with in Music & Motion have become life long friends".
According to Kate Lubeneski of Quakertown, PA, "the Philly Fringe is an experience like no other. To be on stage and performing in a festival side by side with so many other incredible local artists as well as those from all over the United States is, well, just incredible!"
Music & Motion Dance will be performing in the Philly Fringe on Labor Day weekend - Friday, September 2nd and Saturday, September 3rd. Both performances are at 8PM at the National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance. For tickets or to learn more about Music & Motion Dance Productions and their upcoming performances, go to www.music-and-motion.com
Cast Members are: Maddie Breslin, Yardley, PA; Nicole DeHelian, East Greenville, PA; Stacey Folks, Green Lane, PA; Christina Heupel, Newtown, PA; Kristen Konski, Bristol, PA; Brittany LaCava, Quakertown, PA; Kate Lubenetski, Quakertown, PA; Katie Paul, Hereford, PA; Christina Picariello, Frederick, PA; Andrea Piovane, Philadelphia, PA; Lynley Schaffer, Pennsburg, PA; Olivia Schaffer, Pennsburg, PA; Noelle Tolbert, Harleysville, PA; and Monica Zukowski, Pennsburg, PA