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Performing Arts Series

Since 1984 the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented great artists and performances to Philadelphia-area audiences, creating an environment in which the value of the arts is recognized and celebrated.

Performing Arts Series 2022-23

Urban Bush Women Dance Workshop with Nia Eubanks-Dixon

Seven dancers on a stage in golden light

Weds | March 29, 2023 | 5:30 PM

McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall

The Bryn Mawr College Dance Program hosts a dance workshop in honor of Dr. Pearl Primus who inspired the renowned evening-length works Walking with Pearl…Africa Diaries and Walking with Pearl…Southern Diaries choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and performed by Urban Bush Women. During this workshop, the collective community will experience embodied practices that led to the manifestation of Walking with Pearl. Specific movement phrases from a Southern Diaries excerpt will also be included in the workshop as embodied and artistic portals, bringing past to present. 

 

Interview & Embodied Interactive Dialogue with Nia Eubanks-Dixon and Lela Aisha Jones

Thurs | March 30, 2023 | 7 PM

Headshot of Nia Eubanks-Dixon

McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall

This call and response in dialogue and movement led by former Urban Bush Women company members Nia Eubanks-Dixon and Lela Aisha Jones will bring the Walking with Pearl series embodied archive to life in honor of anthropologist, dancer, and choreographer Dr. Pearl Primus. A centerpiece of the evening will be to surface invisible interpersonal reflections on being an embodied researcher and listener in a performance endeavor of which you may be culturally, ethnically, or intergenerationally non-native. How do we come to terms with our histories, cultures, and existences? How are our stories and presence a part of the journey and how do we keep the individual and collective sacred intact when performance works call historical traumas and triumphs to our present? How do we archive and imagine histories over time and in contemporary landscapes? The Porch aims to transport us to a time where folks still sit on multimodal porches to bask in the awe of collective brilliance that emerges from dismantling formalities and engaging in blackness uncaptured.

Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble

Weds | Feb. 22, 2023 | 6:30 PM

Dancers on stage in purple light

McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall

Inspired by the voices of their ancestors, Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble preserves and presents traditional dance and music of Africa and the African diaspora. 

This performance will include live dance and drum artistry with origins in Cuba and West Africa. This program will also feature a solo dance performance created by BMC Student Ayantae Cunningham as a part of the 360° course cluster Paradigms of Revival: Black Liberatory Education, Embodiment, and the Arts led by professors Lela Aisha Jones, Monique Scott, and Chanelle Wilson.

The event is presented and supported by the Performing Arts Series, the Dance Program, Africana Studies, and Latin American, Iberian, and Latina/o Studies (LAILS).

Blue background with grey 3-D mask renderings, with the text PROMETHEUS (working title) and JAN 26-28

Algorithmic Theater: Prometheus (working title)

Thurs | Jan. 26, 2023  | 8 PM followed by a reception

Fri | Jan. 27, 2023  | 8 PM

Sat | Jan. 28, 2023  | 8 PM 

Hepburn Teaching Theater, Goodhart Hall

Is artificial intelligence a “gift from the gods” or a fraught technology with unknown implications? Join us for the world premiere of Prometheus (working title) by theater artist Annie Dorsen. Each performance is unique, as A.I.-generated masks produce new dialogues and songs in real-time. We’re asked to consider: What does it mean for a machine to create theater?

Support for Algorithmic Theater has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

LEARN MORE

Algorithmic Theater: A Piece of Work

Fri | Sept. 9, 2022  | 8 PM | McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall

With post-performance reception!

A billow of smoke is coming out of a wood table on a dark stage, and the words "revenge" and "ghost" are projected in white in the background.

Mixing live performance with algorithms and interfaces, A Piece of Work (2013) flips the switch between human and technology. It’s a machine-made Hamlet for a post-humanist age.

Support for Algorithmic Theater has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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Algorithmic Theater: Hello Hi There

Sat | Sept. 10, 2022  | 8 PM 

Two laptops perch on a grassy hill on a dark stage. Behind them, there are two black screens with the words "typing and talking, I am not a chatterbot" in white text.

Sun | Sept. 11, 2022  | 8 PM

Hepburn Teaching Theater, Goodhart Hall

Hello Hi There (2010) uses the famous 1970s television debate between philosopher Michel Foucault and linguist/activist Noam Chomsky as inspiration and material for a dialogue between two custom-designed chatbots. Additional source material has been drawn from YouTube, the Bible, Shakespeare, and big hits of western philosophy.

Support for Algorithmic Theater has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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Algorithmic Theater: Spokaoke

A person in profile is speaking into a microphone in a crowded room.

Sat | Sept. 10, 2022  | 10 PM | Campus Center

With food provided by Algorithm Food Truck! And featuring special guest emcee Martha Graham Cracker!

Spokaoke (2012) invites the audience to perform speeches as they would ordinarily perform songs in a karaoke bar. This participatory event plays with the legacy of spoken artifacts, treating snippets and snatches of public address like a Top 40 radio of collective discourse.

Support for Algorithmic Theater has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Free! No advance registration required.

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Algorithmic Theater: 2012-2022 | Annie Dorsen and Authors in Conversation

Sun | Sept. 11, 2022  | 2 PM | Music Room, Goodhart Hall

Followed by a reception to celebrate the publication.

Close up image of artist Annie Dorsen

This discussion celebrates Annie Dorsen: Algorithmic Theater, 2012-2022, the first collection of writing by and about Dorsen. Join us for a conversation with some of the publication’s authors, as they reflect on these writings, the significance of Bryn Mawr’s performance retrospective, and the radical implications of Dorsen’s work.

Support for Algorithmic Theater has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Free! No advance registration required.

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Algorithmic Theater: Yesterday Tomorrow

Thurs | Sept. 15, 2022  | 8 PM followed by a reception!

Fri | Sept. 16, 2022  | 6 PM

Three people sit on the floor across from three green couches on a dark stage. Four large projections of sheet music hang above the couches.

Sat | Sept. 17, 2022  | 8 PM with Q&A!

McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall

A new kind of musical, Yesterday Tomorrow (2015) is a collaboration between human artists and evolutionary algorithms. In this work, a chorus of live singers are fed a real-time algorithmically-generated score to create an environmental concert of song, machines, gestures, light and space.

Support for Algorithmic Theater has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Learn More


Providing talks and workshops free to the public to develop arts awareness and literacy, the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has partnered in recent seasons with such organizations as the Barnes Foundation, Pennsylvania Ballet, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, and FringeArts. The Series has presented performances by such diverse luminaries as Trisha Brown Dance Company, Meredith Monk, John Waters, Jennifer Koh, the Khmer Arts Ensemble of Cambodia, Urban Bush Women, and Annie Dorsen.

The Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Contact the Arts Office at reservations@byelizabethkim.com or 610-526-5300 for more information.