The Sound of Philadelphia in motion

Photo by Alex Lowy

You probably danced to “The Sound of Philadelphia” at a lot of parties in the ’80s. Now it’s the pros’ turn.

To kick off the Dance Celebration/Next Move 2000 Millennium Series, the renowned Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) will present the world premiere of a new work set to music from the vaults of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, whose artists dominated the R&B charts through the 1970s and 1980s. The as-yet-untitled piece by Dwight Rhoden, commissioned by Dance Celebration, will be peformed on Nov. 18 and 19.

The acclaimed and popular African-American dance troupe, pictured here performing their male ensemble piece “Pacing,” has performed before enthusiastic audiences across the country and around the world. But for this performance, Philadanco — which bills itself as “the company of the 21st century” — travels a mere five blocks from their West Philadelphia home to the Annenberg Center.

In addition to the premiere piece, the concert includes three other works from Philadanco’s repertoire: “Shoshana’s Balcony,” “Exotica” and “Pretty is Skin Deep, Ugly is to the Bone.”


PHILADANCO: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20 in Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. Tickets $30 for evening performances, $27 for the Saturday matinee; discounts for seniors, students, and Penn faculty, staff and alumni available. Tickets/info: visit or call 215-898-3900.


Originally published on November 11, 1999