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Fringe in Fairmount

It’s a once-a-year — and very often a once-in-a-lifetime — opportunity for Philly-based artists, as well as those from around the globe, to present their work free of a selection process. So says the mission statement of the Philly Fringe Festival.

The Festival, which this year runs from Sept. 2–17, creates a cityscape filled with theater, dance, music, and everything in between. One of this year’s participants is The Maeko Film Project, presenting their Whiskey and Elephants on Sept. 4, 5 and 6 at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St.

Whiskey and Elephants is the overall title given to the Film Project’s presentation, Richmond, Virginia based choreographer and filmmaker, Charli Brissey, founder and director of the Project, explained.

“I called the production Whiskey and Elephants because, for whatever reason, elephants almost always appear in all the work I do,” said Brissey who will be premiering Weight, a 40-minute video-dance exploring the distinctions of burdens and dreams by venturing through the surreal landscape of the human heart and psyche.

“And through a series of raw, gritty and unrefined interviews, there is some sort of whiskey involved,” she added.

“The show will be an eclectic mix of video, dance and music. I am primarily a dancer with a degree in choreography, but I’ve always been involved with videos. My passion has been to combine the two together,” said Brissey.

Since the Philly Fringe is an unfiltered festival, where a platform is provided for new and established artists to present their work, Brissey said she felt this would be a perfect opportunity to display her artistry as well as that of others.

She said, “This is the first time my video is being shown. I couldn’t figure out what to do with it once it was done. I wanted to premiere it somewhere different from the usual venues in Virginia and I thought of the Philly Fringe Festival, but I didn’t know anyone here. So, as much as I wanted to be part of the Festival, I never thought it would happen. But the people at the Festival helped me to produce the show here and I’m very grateful.”

On Sept. 4, New York City-based choreographer Megan Harrold will be joining in Whiskey and Elephants and premiering a new work titled The Talking Cure. Based in analyzing the comfort sensibilities of the rocking motion, the movement will explore romance and friendship while an installation of a house is being built through dance.

“Today, my major responsibility as director of this Project is to mainly plan the concepts for the shows, and gather in guest artists. A big part of the Project is to provide a platform for others to show their work as I am creating my own,” she said.

And as far as the goal of the Film Project, Brissey said it is simply to display humanity and diminish illusion by presenting raw, authentic and honest glimpses of who and what we are as beings through video and movement.

“We aren’t so much about presenting our opinions as we are just trying to create momentum in people to have them think and question themselves, and maybe make new choices,” Brissey concluded.

For times and ticket information, call 215–413–1318••

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