Shut Up & Dance 2012 – 20th Anniversary

In 1993, dancers from Pennsylvania Ballet decided that they needed to do something to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. After much discussion, they realized that the best thing they could do was “shut up & dance.” They partnered with MANNA to help with its mission to deliver meals to people dealing with this life-threatening illness. Every year since 1993, dancers have choreographed, danced, and produced this one-night only show, and MANNA and Shut Up & Dance have grown together.On Saturday night some of the same dancers gathered to celebrate the 20 years since the inception of the event, and of course to enjoy the performances of the current dancers.

To introduce the show, and also explain a snafu, Richard Keaveney, Chief Executive Officer – MANNA addresses the audience. Seems there was a problem in Will Call, when I got there there was a line at least a block long. Richard made the right executive decision and just let everyone in as GA. Interesting I observed that most people had an idea of where they were supposed to sit and went right to the balcony, so many in fact that ushers urged some theater goers to sit in the orchestra seats. Either they were humble and they went to the balcony, or they were supposed to be there. I of course was worred about sight lines and sat in the back row.

The show opened up with a series of vignettes where the dancers reenacted the posters that promoted the shows for the past 20 years.
Guys in tutu’s are always fun
hmm should have used a faster lens. I was a bit nervous as I didn’t pick up my press credentials at the Will Call and thought at any moment those diligent ushers would come over and scold me for taking photos.
I remember when the underwear poster came out. It was ripped off poles and shop windows quicker than you could say Madonna Cone Bra. Probably for a keepsake on many a boy or gals bedroom wall, and not by the appalled religious right.
Michaela Majoun wxpn has been hosting Shut Up & Dance for 15 years. Brava
I didn’t shoot any of the dance sequences, but I wish I had. It was so quiet you could hear a camera click and I just didn’t want to disturb the atmosphere. In this scene the West Philadelphia Conestoga Angels Precision Marching Corps performed a loud piece that blocked out any possible clicking camera noise. So I snapped one for ya…
and The Dying Swan piece by Arantxa Ochoa – Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Balletand the finale with all the current and formal dancers
Then is was over to the After-Party at Solefood Resturant and Lounge, 1200 Market Street, and show off your won dance moves to classic 70s and 80s dance music from DJ Robert Drake (XPN/Sex Dwarf). (Which reminds me Club Addesso is having a party in my honor with special guest Jade Starling on April 13th at 10PM. Hope you’ll come by. It’s the beginning of the baby boomer party I’ve wanted to start for eons.)Danny Schuyler & Erin Como, Tony Frick and Alissa Ingram

dance dance dance
Marissa Taffer (Now I remember where I shot your parents. At the Phila Youth Concert), Crystal Hayes, Justin of and Lily DiPiazza
Brian Lynch, Meredith Rainey (You may recognize him as not only a choreographer, one of the great Pa Ballet dancers, but also the guy at the bottom of the Mural at 13th & Locust. The City Paper did an excellent explanation on the who’s who on the mural We used to be in a book club together about 18 years ago too.), Joyce Beerbower, Jan Wiewiora and Becki Lynch
Rashid Abdalla, Mark Mattingly, and Turner Simmons
Kat Swift and Lauren Ras. Born in Berlin Germany, Kat has always had the desire to volunteer her time and energy to charitable organizations. Since the young age of 7, Kat has been volunteering to help raise money for the Pennsylvania ballet at their ballet boutique. She also volunteers at “One Simple Wish”, which has been making small miracles happen for foster children and vulnerable families since December 2008.
Bob Smith,‘s Evan Urbania, Michael Williams, Stuart Alter, Tony Rodriguez and John Alchin
As I was leaving I ran into Steve and Tamar Olitsky, who’s foundation was one of the sponsors for Shut Up and Dance again this year. They were with Maria Valetta and Eric Grilly, who are getting married July 7 in Montalcino, AE (Italy). Nice. Congrats!
MANNA nourishes the mind, body and spirit of clients, volunteers and supporters alike. Drawn from all walks of life, the young, old, urban and suburban come together with one common goal: to promote wellness through nutrition for people at acute nutritional risk living in Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.