Almanac Dance Theatre’s Fit Fest is returning to Philadelphia later this month.
Now in its third year, the free, immersive, multidisciplinary outdoor arts and fitness festival will take place on Saturday, May 27 from noon to 6 p.m.—and it will feature an assortment of activities from dancing, to circus skills, to walking tours and more.
“Now that Fit Fest is in its third year, we are really excited to offer a super fun, completely free-to-attend day of world-class performance and participatory movement activities for those looking to move – just a little bit, or quite a lot,” says Almanac co-founder and producer Ben Grinberg in a statement.
Grinberg continued: “Thanks to the support of the Penn Treaty Special Services District, we are able to offer an event that ignites a shared and universal curiosity around movement on Memorial Day weekend for all those that aren’t able to or don’t want to leave the city.”
Almanac ultimately created the event to bring movement communities together and celebrate public spaces as a gathering place for fitness and creation.
As a release states, highlights of this year’s performances will include the cutting-edge, site-specific contemporary circus of the France-based group Keep Company, Native Nations Dance Theatre, Hip-Hop Fundamentals, and an ensemble of dancers led by choreographer Megan Mazarick.
Fit Fest also will feature a flash mob performed at the end of the day, and participants can learn the steps throughout the event to become part of it themselves. For those looking to learn circus moves, categories range from partner acrobatics to handstands to aerials and juggling. For kids, young movers can also compete for custom graffiti trophies in an under-16 Dance Battle.
Throughout the day, Somatic walking tours will be led by fidget’s Megan Bridge and Rhonda Moore, and there will also be a gentle stretch class lead by local artist Christina Gesualdi.
Food and drinks wise, Fit Fest will be offering food trucks with healthier options. Plus, there will be classes available for younger children, and Almanac will also present excerpts from their work ‘Communitas‘, which was created in the park where the festival will take place.
“Shackamaxon has given all of us so much – especially Almanac,” Grinberg continued in a statement. “This land supported us, inspired us, and offered us a soft place to land as we were learning, falling, failing, and eventually making our first piece ever, ‘Communitas‘, right here in the park. As we look forward to bringing this piece to Jacob’s Pillow this summer, we’re so excited to share our love of place and of movement alongside so many other artists and movers who make our community so unique.”
Fit Fest will also highlight a specific piece of work titled ‘Compost‘ from Keep Company. The original circus performance is described as a humorous piece that invites us to look more closely and completely at our environment.
Keep Company, a contemporary circus company founded in 2018, was created by Luca Bernini and Abby Neuberger after their graduation from the higher circus arts school “L’Académie Fratellini” in Paris. With the liberty that their specialty “partner acrobatics” allows, Neuberger and Bernini decided to focus on creating shows for public spaces to be able to reach a wide range of audiences, the release finishes.
Philadelphians can catch their work along with plenty of other activities (check the website for a full schedule) online. The annual Fit Fest will take place at 1301 Beach Street in Fishtown. To learn more, visit thealmanac.us.
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