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Around the World of Art


Philly is filled with life and art from around the world, and it comes out to dance and play for two weeks in September.

The Devil and Mister Punch by London’s Improbable theater company

The annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe celebrate its 15th festival year with 16 days of nonstop groundbreaking performances and wild creativity held at various venues in the city. The festival features cutting-edge dance, theater, music, and interdisciplinary works by renowned artists from the U.S. and international contemporary arts scene. A platform for daring, innovative, and highly interdisciplinary artists, the 2011 lineup emphasizes the festival’s continued commitment to the development of new work with nine world premiers, three U.S. and three Philadelphia premiers.

“The centerpiece of this year’s festival is a series celebrating intercultural practice, as different worlds and dance traditions meet on the contemporary stage,” Producing Artistic Director Nick Stuccio said.

The centerpiece series of the festival features the U.S. premier of Play, a duet commissioned by Live Arts, created and performed by celebrated French choreographer Shantala Shivalingappa and Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. This includes a dance blending different styles of East and West with an intercultural dance dialogue. The performance features a live ensemble and interaction with musicians and other theatrical elements.

Also included are the Philadelphia premier of Shivalingappa’s contemporary solo Namasya, the first-ever large-scale visual art presentation of the multimedia dance-inspired installation Zon-Mai, and the Live Arts Festival’s largest presentation, the Philadelphia premier of Traces from the high-energy urban acrobatic troupe 7 Fingers at the Merriam Theater. In contemporary theater, London’s theater company Improbable presents the world premier of The Devil and Mister Punch, inspired by the English puppet shows of Punch and Judy.

Tickets for most shows are between $10 and $30; some are free. Students and festival goers 25 and younger pay $15 for Live Arts Festival tickets and receive $5 off Philly Fringe tickets priced above $10. Festival members save 20 percent on all shows and an additional 10 percent at top Philadelphia restaurants.

Tickets are available for online purchase now and phone and walk-up sales at the Box Office after Monday, August 22 at 215.413.1318.