Fringe Acrobatic Maneuvers
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING POST IS MOSTLY NON-MUSIC RELATED. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
Hey guys, I’m delinquent in writing about the Tangle Movement Arts performance of Elements of Friction during the Philly Fringe Festival. I can’t say that I hit a lot of Fringe events, but we do usually catch some, and we knew TMA from a previous performance that we caught a few years back. Scoring these tickets was a high coup, and off we went to the Icebox Project Space to enjoy.
This wasn’t a musical performance, but rather a choreographed acrobatic show featuring a bunch of highly educated and/or circus arts women gracefully doing strength moves that left me breathless. TMA is not unlike a Cirque du Soleil kind of performance, but different, too. Clearly, they combine the circus arts of trapeze and acrobatics, but there is also music and theater, and as they say in the program, “with an emphasis on queer and female experiences.” It’s the urban hodge-podge experience that makes living around a large U.S. city so damn enjoyable. Whatever label you want to affix to TMA, they are really entertaining to watch.
The individual performances move along at a nice clip. Each one is a variation on a theme of acrobatics and trapeze, but they all have individual parts that make them unique. Like all great athletes, the performers make their performances look effortless, but anyone who does any amount of exercise will recognize that the routines require tremendous skill and strength. Some of the moves that they do, dangerously perched high above the floor, are really impressive and choreographed to music and lights. Very cool.
I took some photos and even did a video (unfortunately, on my phone as I forgot to bring my GoPro – schlect!). Here are some of the pics followed by the video. I hope you enjoy:
Oh, by the way, the Icebox Project Space is basically a concrete bunker inside of a modestly-renovated former manufacturing building in Northern Liberties. There are some cool art galleries and stores in there, too. But whenever someone tells me how great NoLibs is, I think of this spot and me sitting through the TMA show and wondering whether my car will still be outside when the show is over. It’s block by block up there, people, and this space is not located in a particularly attractive one.
What else has been happening around town? Funny you should ask. At the Perelman Building, there was a Jean Shin show, along with some great stuff from the 60s. I took some shots, and you can see them below. Shin’s work takes everyday objects - clothing and footwear, soda bottles, umbrellas – that have been disposed, and then she turns them into provocative mosaics and collages. Pretty good stuff IMHO.
I always enjoy the Perelman’s focus on design and fashion. The Perelman crowds are often thin, which gives time and space to truly enjoy the displays. The building itself is an architectural gem, and the exhibitions are usually small, focused and visually interesting. We’ve seen great stuff there, from Vlisco fabrics to vintage high couture fashion from the mega-designers in Paris. There is so much that is visually interesting about these works – so different from paintings and sculptures, but every bit as creative. A small and often overlooked treasure in the Philly cultural scene, the Perelman is a nice way to spend a couple of hours. If you haven’t been there, give it a shot the next time you are in Fairmount.
Rockers, I’ll be back to the tunes oh so soon. I have some shows coming up, and am always on the lookout for interesting musical tidbits to pass along. Swing by every now and again and catch the latest on BRP. But for now, go fire up the grill and enjoy the end of the long, languid days of sweet summer. Love ya.
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.