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An Interview with Karen Fuhrman of Grounded Aerial about their upcoming performance "Chance Encounters" at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)

by Robert Abrams
March 30, 2011
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-893-1999

Featured Dance Company:

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)
PIFA (office)
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Attn: PIFA Festival
260 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-546-PIFA
www.pifa.org

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) is a sponsor of ExploreDance.com.

Chance Encounters will be performed April 7, 2011 as part of the opening gala. For tickets please contact Rachel Laibson at 215 670-2352.

This performance takes place on Commonwealth Plaza.
Robert Abrams: What is your role in the show?

Karen Fuhrman: Artistic Director

RA: Have you collaborated with anyone to create your PIFA presentation?

KF: Always! My technical director, Aaron Verdery and I discuss different options based on creative impulses and messages, the of the turn of the century French theme, physics…and how to mesh the vision with constraints of gravity.

RA: Who have you collaborated with to create your PIFA presentation?

KF: Jay Wahl, Elieen Harris (both of Kimmel Center), Technical Director- Aaron Verdery, and all my dancer/aerialists …as the process develops, we collaborate through out!

RA: What has this collaboration allowed you to achieve that would not have been possible without it?

KF: Utilizing our best traits. We simply couldn't do it with out each other.

RA: In your art that you are presenting at PIFA, what is unexpected?

KF: My oh my. We are on the side of a 90 foot wall! We toy with different ideas of perspective. Bringing the audience to a world where gravity alters- or might not even exist at all.

RA: What is "new" about the art you are presenting at PIFA?

KF: Grounded Aerial is in equal parts a combination of theater, aerial and dance. I believe this is new. I usually say, "Come for the spectacle, stay for the story."

RA: What is the connection between your show at PIFA and Paris between 1910 and 1920?

KF: the transitory energy. Like a train station….or current day airport feeling… The new era of movement and excitement is the feeling that I focused on. Also-the music and costumes echo this theme.

RA: If audience members were seeing your PIFA show for the second time, what should they pay special attention to in order to enhance their appreciation of your art?

KF: only one night! April 7th!! 10:00 pm!!

RA: Does your art have an activist message?

KF: not an activist message- more just the message to be able to shift perspective…that ability makes it all more interesting…

RA: Do you work with schools or children?

KF: all types (adults and children) and any level.

RA: Please describe your educational work.

KF: elementary schools, universities, professional workshops, circus schools, dance conservatories, theater schools…and "non dancers"

RA: What else would you like people who are thinking about purchasing a ticket to your show to know about your art?

KF: About Insectinside the last week of April. See Groundedaerial.com for more information.

To purchase a ticket to this show, go to www.pifa.org/events/980191069.
To purchase tickets to all PIFA dance events, go to www.pifa.org/events?bucket_id=1.
For more information about Grounded Aerial, go to Groundedaerial.com.
To follow PIFA on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/PIFAPhilly.
To "Like" PIFA on FaceBook, go to www.facebook.com/PIFA.Philly.

Photo © & courtesy of Unknown

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