PIFA 11-day art festival coming to Philly

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts or PIFA kicks off this week. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts describes it as a biennial gift to the city, with more than 50 performances in venues all over town.

PIFA kicks off May 31st with a black-tie gala in the Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza. For the next 10 days, there's everything from circus to music, theatre, poetry, dance, and film with artists from Philadelphia and all over the world.

"We really try to take over the city with an explosion and an immersion of artistic practice, dialogue and just fun," PIFA Artistic Director, Jay Wahl says.

An Austrian musical ensemble named Studio Dan will play a tribute concert to Frank Zappa. Among the instruments they play? A bicycle.

There's an all-male dance troupe from South Korea, "whose name translates to ambiguous dance company," Wahl says.

The dancers are accompanied by a female organist, a Korean American who studied at Curtis, "really exploring gender but music and dance and it's silly and it's fun," Wahl says.

A theater piece called The Fever explores our connection and dependence on other human beings.

"We're all in a group that is responsible for holding the piece up and making it happen," Wahl says.
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From music to dance...circus acts to comedy and some performances that defy categorization, it is a celebration.

And The Planets will take you on a stunning HD journey through space.

"It's breathtaking," says Terrell Stafford, Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, "Just seeing these planets, it gives us; it gave me a whole new perspective of where we live now."

The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia will provide the soundtrack to the NASA movie playing a century old symphonic work by Gustav Holst called The Planets, "but having it totally redone, re-orchestrated," Stafford says, "It's going to put a whole new spin on it and that's the exciting part."

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)
June 1-10


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