Throughout the year, Philadelphia Dance Projects presents stimulating and provocative programs, from performances by renowned independent dance artists and companies to film events, workshops, classes, educational programs, and forums for artists, aspiring artists, and students, all geared toward a broad-based audience.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 7:30pm
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 7:30pm

WOLF-IN-SKINS   excerpts from the dance opera

NOVEMBER 29 & 30  at 7:30PM
SEI Innovation Studio, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Tickets $10 at the Kimmel Box Office

Philadelphia Dance Projects in partnership with American Opera Projects will present an “Informance” with Choreographer, Christopher Williams and Composer, Gregory Spears as the culmination of a creative artist residency to further develop their original dance opera, WOLF-IN-SKINS.

An “Informance” is a work-in-progress showing, where the artists are in conversation with the audience about the content of the work, their ideas and inspiration.  Dancers, singers and musicians will perform sections from the work.

Wolves, hounds, fay milkmaids and other mythical characters fill this dance opera that draws inspiration from a cycle of Welsh romance tales that preserve pre-Celtic and pre-Christian elements. It views marginalized or outmoded cultural relics, celebrating the “otherness” inherent in early Welsh literature, through a contemporary lens.

Christopher Williams, hailed as “one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there” in The New York Times and “the downtown prodigy” in The New Yorker, is a choreographer, dancer and puppeteer who has been devoted to crafting and performing choreographic works in New York City and abroad since 1999 including recent collaborations choreographing operas directed by Peter Sellars and Michel Fau.

Gregory Spears writes instrumental and vocal music that blends together stylistic aspects of romanticism, minimalism and early music. The Chicago Tribune hailed the music of Spears’ “Fellow Travelers” (premiered in 2016) as one of the “most accomplished new American operas in recent years …his setting of words to music is masterly.”

This project is supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, the William Penn Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, PA Arts Council Project Stream grant administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Individual Donors.


Operatic elements tell the story while dance explores the dreaminess of the mythology…it’s a visual feast.”  - Merilyn Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer

If you were one of the lucky audience to see the Philadelphia Dance Projects’ sold out performances of Wolf-In-Skins, Act 1 in 2013 you know how exciting this work is! 
PDP special residency will begin in 2017 and culminate with a script in hand presentation in the Fall when some of those marvelous singers, wolves and hounds, along with new puppets will return.
PDP has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a creative residency with choreographer, Christopher Williams and composer Gregory Spears to work towards finishing this wonderful dance opera.  

“Dance and opera certainly have been blended over the centuries, but not often with the sort of intensive interaction demanded by [choreographer] Williams and composer Gregory Spears, both seemingly fearless about striking out in new direction.” David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

SEI Innovation Studio, Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Dawn Pratson, Music Made Visible: Dalcroze Plastique Anime

Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 1:00pm
Dawn Pratson, Music Made Visible: Dalcroze Plastique Anime

Plastique Animé is the art of interpreting a piece of music in movement in a way that makes the music visible. Coming from the music education approach named after Swiss composer and music educator, Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, called Dalcroze Eurhythmics, plastique animé is a tool for deepening students’ musicianship by embodying the music. Through active listening and score analysis, the choreographer/teacher selects which musical subjects to focus on and designs a series of lessons whereby students listen, analyze, and learn choreography created by the teacher as well as create their own.

In this workshop, we will work with a piece of classical music to create a plastique piece together. We will experience and discuss different ways for students to actively listen, analyze and embody the music, breaking it down into music subjects such as form, beat and subdivisions, rhythmic elements, dynamics, phrase, etc. Suggestions for classical pieces for plastiques will be shared and we will discuss the adaptations for students of all ages.

RSVP to infoatphiladanceprojects [dot] org.

Dawn Pratson earned her Dalcroze license in 2004, and was the founding music specialist at the Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School in Philadelphia from 2005-2015. She is a musician (flute, piano, voice) and modern/contemporary dancer and choreographer. She teaches Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the University of the Arts and Temple University and teaches workshops around the U.S. and abroad.

The Performance Garage
1515 Brandywine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: 2155462552

Past Events

Resource/Idea Exchange led by Mady Cantor

December 4, 2016 - 1:00pm

DanceTAG participants swap their tips. Come prepared to show and share best practices….


Mady Cantor is the Director of Dance TAG, as well as Associate Director of Dance at Bryn Mawr College where she teaches technique, composition, repertory, and directs the Dance Outreach Project.  She has taught for many years in schools and community programs with a special interest in facilitating meaningful and joyful dance experiences for young people.   

Rhythm and Movement Play for Dancers with Melissa Chisena and Jon Cannon

November 13, 2016 - 12:00pm

Join Dance TAG for a workshop about inspiring dancers with rhythm play and phrase building activities.  Co-taught by Philadelphia-based dancer Melissa Chisena and multi-disciplinary musician Jonathan Cannon, the session will focus on finding rhythm, pulse, tempo, syncopation and polyrhythms in movement.

Dance Games for Engagement and Empowerment with Bethany Formica

October 30, 2016 - 1:00pm

Join in for dance games that develop community and communication skills, and encourage all players to have a blast. Adaptable to multiple settings and ages, from school and studios to open events, from children to adults. We’ll be passing pulses, blowing kisses, tiptoeing and moving rhythmically through the space. Forget about technique for a bit, put on your thinking caps and turn off your serious self.

Feelings are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer and Lecture

October 19, 2016 - 6:00pm
October 19, 2016 - 8:00pm

Philadelphia premiere of new documentary film by JACK WALSH
post screening discussion with Jack Walsh and Yvonne Rainer

Trio A - a workshop with Pat Catterson

October 15, 2016 - 1:00pm
October 16, 2016 - 1:00pm

What can be learned today from Yvonne Rainer’s 1966 influential work Trio A? Fifty years later, the impact of Rainer’s revolutionary ideas and work is still evident in the current choreographic scene. Although Rainer’s famous “No Manifesto” was not written about Trio A, this dance is a manifesto in itself. Its form, vocabulary, and performing stance challenged traditional choreographic methods and modes of presentation.