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Fit Fest coming to Penn Treaty Park

Photo By Daniel Kontz

Fit Fest will take place on Saturday, May 27, from noon to 6 p.m. at Penn Treaty Park, 1301 Beach St. in Fishtown.

The public is invited to the free, immersive, multidisciplinary outdoor arts and fitness festival for all ages and abilities.

Fit Fest celebrates the collective human freedom to move in local public spaces.

Now in its third year, Fit Fest will feature performances and classes from local and international artists, a flash mob that everyone can join, an under-16 all-styles dance battle and much more.

The event is designed to bring movement communities together and celebrate public spaces as a gathering place for fitness and creation.

“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 Dance Circus Theatre co-founder and producer Ben Grinberg.

“Thanks to the support of the Penn Treaty Special Services District, we are able to offer an event which 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.”

Highlights of this year’s performances will include the cutting-edge, site-specific contemporary circus of France-based Keep Company, Native Nations Dance Theatre, Hip-Hop Fundamentals and an ensemble of dancers led by choreographer Megan Mazarick.

Throughout the day, everyone can learn the steps to a flash mob dance, which will be performed all together just before the end of the festival.

Participants will have several opportunities to try on circus skills including partner acrobatics, handstands, aerials and juggling from Acro& and members of Almanac, while younger movers can compete for custom graffiti trophies in an under-16 dance battle.

Those looking for less exertion can participate in somatic walking tours led by Fidget’s Megan Bridge and Rhonda Moore or take part in a gentle stretch class led by local artist Christina Gesualdi.

Other events and workshops will continue to be added to the lineup up until the big day, along with food trucks offering healthier options and classes for younger children, making for a festival and bursts with energy and movement.

Almanac will also present excerpts from its work Communitas, which was created in the park.

“Shackamaxon has given all of us so much – especially Almanac,” Grinberg said. “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.”

One of the headliners of the festival will be Keep Company, from France’s piece  Compost. Compost is organic material decomposed by nature and used to grow new life. Abby and Luca work in the same manner by (metaphorically) collecting elements from their environment, deconstructing and composting these elements and then using the new material to nourish themselves and their audiences. With original and off-beat gestures, they make wild and untamed beings reappear and everyday surroundings stand out. Observing and listening to the almost imperceptible rhythms of the plants and animals that make up their performance space, their choreography invites viewers to imagine the invisible and perceive the tiny. Like a photographic lens, viewers can “zoom in” and “zoom out” of the setting to notice the particularities of everything alive and organic. Compost is an original and humorous circus performance that invites people to look more closely and completely at the environment. Keep Company is a contemporary circus company founded in 2018 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, Abby and Luca decided to focus on creating shows for public spaces to be able to reach a wide range of audiences.

For more information, visit www.thealmanac.us. ••

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