PIFA Fun: Questlove Rehearsal & Natalie Portman & I at the Ballet

Yesterday afternoon I was invited to sit in at the open rehearsal with Questlove and Keren Ann as they prepare for their PIFA concert . The Root’s drummer and American journalist ?Questlove will join forces with French chanteuse Keren Ann for a one-time only performance on April 17th at the Kimmel Center.

The theme for PIFA’s celebration is “Paris: 1910-1920″, a time and place when creative emergencies virally influenced the state and production of creative arts today. In this video Questlove explains how he took a classic song and interpreted it with the current music today. He mentions important it was for him to attend the Philadelphia School of Performing Arts in preparation of his career. Above at the Larry Gold Studios in Center City are bassist and producer Anthony Tidd, producer James Poyser and ?Questlove. Also in the room were Larry Gold, Daniel Felsenfeld, David Murray, and Richard Nicols. Plus a myriad of reporters and bloggers. I always love watching Bobbie Booker from the Philadelphia Tribune, Sarah Glover from the Phila Daily News, Marnie Hall of, Jeff Fusco, Getty Images and Laiya Stclair from Buttercup Records, work. I’m really in awe of their talent. Sarah’s multitasking now with both a camera and video, Jeff works with two camera’s and Bobbie and Laiya had great questions for the team.
At the end of the session I ran, literally as it was rush hour and I didn’t see a cab or bus getting me there any quicker at rush hour, to the reception held at The Star Group and hosted by the Pennsylvania Ballet for choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who is here working on a world premiere production with the Pennsylvania Ballet for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
He was as beautiful and charming and the women at the party were swarming him like bees to honey. It’s a good thing his squeeze, the very pregnant Natalie Portman, didn’t accompanying him or she would have been toppled over. I did however hear that she was going to be at the ballet so when I was offered a ticket I quickly ran over to the theater for a glimpse like a giddy school boy. It turned out that she would be attended at intermission so that she wouldn’t cause a stir as she walked in. She would be seated at the back.Well I only wanted to stay til intermission as I had Ryan Dorsey’s birthday party to shoot at midnite & needed a disco nap beforehand. Could I possibly sit in her seats til them? Sure enough that’s what I did. When I left at intermission I saw a commotion and only a few moments after the commotion walked by me did I realize it was Natalie Portman, Benjamin and a few other people I recognized from the cocktail party. That would be my only glimpse for her time here although someone sent me a tip the night before when she was at the rehearsal, but I chose to go to the gym instead. Friday she returned home to NYC and Benjamin left for Russia to work on his next project, this morning. Above L-R: Artistic Director Roy Kaiser (celebrating his 30th year with Pennsylvania Ballet and his 15th as Artistic Director), famed choreographer Benjamin Millepied, Anne Ewers President & CEO of Kimmel Center, Inc, and Michael Scolamiero Executive Director of Pennsylvania Ballet since June 1997. (This is what you would call the money shot.) You can still catch The Pennsylvania Ballet as it honors its Balanchine in Building on Balanchine tonight and Saturday. Info Here.
Also check out:
Gospel Concert – Friday, April 15 @ 6:00. We’re having a free gospel performance in the Kimmel Center Plaza featuring over 200 singers from Enon Baptist Church, a very well known entity in Philadelphia. The singers will be positioned on the tiers of the Kimmel Center.

Remember Paris – Saturday, April 16 @ 3:00pm. This performance is a real collaboration. It features live organ music as the backdrop for two silent actors who re-create pivotal moments in European history in front of a film screen. Very cool! Unfortunately, the program has been marketed as an Organ performance and has not gathered much interest outside of the classical music world.
Thanks to my advertisers this Month: PIFA, The Corner, CTO Band, Arrow Swim Club, Pa Horticultural Society, Del Frisco’s, Kokopelli, The Sporting Club, Karen Gross, Anne Nikolaus Stella Dot Jewelery