December 7, 2012
Dîner En Blanc Philadelphia
Art of Food — Produced by Monica Rogozinski
Chapter 1 — Start with fine dining, throw in a hint of flashmob, stir it around with elegance, and the result is Dîner en Blanc. From Paris to Philadelphia, and over 15 cities around the world, Diner en Blanc is a dining experience that has become a global phenomenon. Intended to experience the elegance of food with the utilization of public space, thousands gather in their best white attire for a mass “chic picnic.” Started by Francois Pasquier and friends in Paris over 20 years ago, the event’s awareness has gone from word-of-mouth buzz to social media sensation.
This summer’s Dîner en Blanc was the first in Philadelphia, bringing together 1,300 attendees to Logan Square on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This segment of Art of Food goes behind-the-scenes of the organizational efforts of the event, as well as documenting the dinner in all its wonders and eccentricities.
Cathedral Basilica: Sacred Sights and Sounds
Art of Life — Produced by Karen Smyles
Chapter 2 — The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is the principal church of the diocese of Philadelphia. Open since 1864 and located at the East side of Logan Square on 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the cathedral is considered to be one of the most architecturally beautiful buildings in the world and one with a rich history. It is the largest brownstone structure in Philadelphia and the largest Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, and a tourist attraction for people from around the world.
In 2011 the Basilica began presenting Concerts at the Cathedral Basilica under the direction of music director, John Romeri, providing the opportunity to experience the music of both local and international musicians in this magnificent sacred building. In October Friday Arts had a chance to talk with Romeri about the series and the role sacred music plays in the Catholic Church. We also spoke with Alan Harler, Artistic Director of one of our finest local choral groups, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, as they rehearsed for a performance at the cathedral. Local composer, Robert Moran was on hand and shared why he always enjoys hearing his works in this great space. And lastly, Monsignor Arthur E. Rodgers talks with Friday Arts about Cathedral Basilica’s rich history and architecture and how that enhances the overall musical experience.
Pictured below: (left) The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is modeled after the Lombard Church of Saint Charles (San Carlo al Corso) in Rome and is an excellent example of Roman-Corinthian architecture. It was completed in 1864. (right) The cathedral was dedicated and solemnly blessed on November 20, 1864, with Bishop James Wood officiating. At the time the Civil War was in high gear.
Band of Artists
Art — Produced by Michael O’Reilly
Chapter 3 — Band of Artists Founder and Director Sutie Madison takes herself and “her dancers through the paces of an obsessive-compulsive mindset” – that mindset being the very tics and twitches of Tourette’s Syndrome that has afflicted Madison for much of her young life. In this segment, we join her in the rehearsals and ultimately the performance of a “tic” inspired evening. Madison started making videos about her Tourette’s syndrome while a student at Arcadia University under the encouragement of Professor Alan Powell. He encouraged her to explore the tics and twitches as a private kinetic language system, and after shooting some of the movementsduring rehearsals, would edit them together, creating what was in effect, adance notation system. The videos were then shared, and together with Steven Dijoseph and Dr. James Cook and the other dancers in Band of Artists, Sutie Madison was able to craft a compelling evening of Tourette’s-centered content.