Philadelphia’s 20th Annual Fringe Festival Set To Begin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s annual experimental performing arts festival known as the fringe festival gets underway Friday and runs at various venues all over the city for 17 days.

Seven performers from the Birds On A Wire Dance Theater will dance “In The Clearing,” an abstract production, according to artistic director Melissa Cameron.

“It’s a dance theater piece inspired by fairy tales, our real life experiences in the woods,” Cameron said. “(It’s) also inspired by coming of age stories in fairy tales, a loss of innocence, that kind of thing, and also some of the super natural magical things that can happen at twilight.”

Dancers will maneuver among audience members who will be assembled on the floor in the space at the Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City as the picnickers in the forest.

The event is a BYOB on three levels; bring your own blanket, bring your own basket and bring your own booze.

The dancers are still working out how they wont step on you.

“We’re not sure, said dancer, Kate Abernethy. “We will have to find out.”

Another production is called “Spherus” and will take place at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in Mount Airy, featuring juggling champion Greg Kennedy, complemented by two aerialists.

“One of the pieces that I will be doing in the show that I’m probably most well-known for and I got a couple million hits on YouTube for is me standing inside a clear inverted acrylic cone,” Kennedy explained, “and instead of throwing and catching the balls in the air, I’m spinning them around me, kind of like orbits around me.”

Shakespeare’s “King John” is also among the productions. It will be put on for free by Revolution Shakespeare at Hawthorne Park at 12th and Catherine Streets in South Philadelphia.

Founder of the company, Griffin Stanton-Amiesen, wanted to pick a play that had relevance to current day politics.

“King John felt the most right,” he said, “because it is who is the most rightful heir to the throne and why and people switching their allegiances and their alliances on a dime.”

Performances in circus arts, theater and dance will take place all over the city during the Philadelphia Fringe Festival September 9 through September 24.

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