16 MAY 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Children and their families are treated to a wide range of international performances, from Spiral Q Puppets, to an Africa storyteller, to a Native American dance duo this summer, when the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology presents its Summer Wonder 2008 Performance Series. Eight Summer Wonder programs, all free with Museum admission donation, run Wednesday mornings, June 25th through August 13th at 10:30 a.m. Performances last about one hour. Pre-registration is required for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to register, call (215) 746-6774.
Designed for children ages 6 to 12 and their families, Summer Wonder programs introduce diverse cultures and cultural perspectives through the performing arts. The 2008 series features:
June 25 - Spiral Q Puppeteers perform with a large array of giant puppets. Their presentation introduces visitors to the provocative use of puppets to affect social change and achieve community goals.
July 2 – Storyteller Momma Sandi transports her audiences to different worlds through her vivid tales. Drawing inspiration from the stories she heard as a child growing up in African, Caribbean and Southern neighborhoods, she shares culturally rich narratives with her audiences. Momma Sandi reaches out to her listeners with words, songs, movements and rhythm, bringing everyone into the stories.
July 9 – Hypnosis, a tribal style dance troupe, blends improvisation with folkloric belly dance movements derived from Central Asian and Middle Eastern dance. Live musical accompaniment sets the mood and story of the dance, which the performers interpret through movement.
July 16 – Legionnaires and Gladiators reenactment. Armed Roman reenactors in full regalia give a presentation on the use of a legionnaire’s various weapons and the tactics for using them. Then, guests witness a one-on-one gladiator battle. This interactive performance gives visitors a chance to learn about daily life and combat in ancient Rome.
July 23 – Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac (School of Blood Moving) shares the cultural heritage of native Mexico through a traditional Aztec dance and drumming performance. The school aims to preserve aspects of Aztec culture, and expose people to the cultural heritage of native Mexico.
July 30 – The musical group Sonqo presents an interactive performance featuring authentic music and instruments from the Andean region, home of the Incan civilization. The group also features colorful adornment from South America.
August 6 – Penn Thillana, Penn’s premier student classical Indian dance group, performs Classical Indian Dance featuring the Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi and Kathak dance styles, four of the main classical dance styles.
August 13 – Philadelphia’s Native Nations Dance Duo demonstrates aspects of Native American cultures through dynamic dance, song and storytelling accompanied by traditional drum and flute music.
Following each Summer Wonder program, children and their families are invited to explore the Museum’s three floors of galleries, including materials from ancient Egypt, Asia, the ancient Mediterranean world, the Near East, Mesoamerica, North America, Polynesia, and Africa.
The Museum Shops and the Museum Cafe also join in the summer wonder. The Museum’s Pyramid Shop for Children, which features games, toys, and books with stories from around the world, will remain open Summer Wonder days, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Museum Shop, open during Museum hours. Tuesday through Saturday, offers a rich assortment of international arts, crafts, and jewelry. The Cafe, open 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., joins with kid-friendly foods on Summer Wonder days.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at http://www.penn.museum.
Photo: Hypnosis dance group.