INVISIBLE RIVER is a unique, home-grown Philadelphia event that takes place in, on, and in the air space above the Schuylkill River. The show combines dance, art, boating, and love of the environment in a celebration of the Schuylkill River. It will be performed twice this summer, on Saturday, July 12 & Sunday, July 13. INVISIBLE RIVER began in 2010 under the name CONSTANTS: a performance journey in history along the Schuylkill River.
The public is invited to view the event either day from the shores of Kelly Drive for free or tickets are available to join a moving boat flotilla and see the show from the water. The flotilla departs at 6 P.M. from the Dragon Boat Dock at 1233 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in West Fairmount Park. The majestic assortment of kayaks, dragon boats, skiffs, and rowboats will make a two-mile loop to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and back. Free viewing on Kelly Drive starts at 7:00 P.M. and can be seen from the Rowing Grandstands and the East Park Canoe House parking lot by the Strawberry Mansion Bridge.
The show includes a musical ensemble, a freestanding abstract sculpture of native birds, and aerial dancers who fly beneath the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and sail on a boat that glides along the water – it also includes three other dances: a ritual paying homage to summer and the change of seasons seen as a choreographic installation in three trees on Kelly Drive; a dance performed by participants from a community class on Peter’s Island; and a paddle board dance that flows along the river. Returning to the docks, a chorus of dancers builds a landscape of running and flocking, movement that ebbs and flows out of the landscape creating an ephemeral experience not unlike that which we experience in nature. INVISIBLE RIVER is brought to life by an award-winning artistic team whose previous individual credits include productions with Alvin Ailey II, the American Dance Festival, Leah Stein Dance Company, and other notable performances throughout the region and around the world.
In addition to the July 12 and 13 performances, the organization is working with students from area schools to teach the next generation of performers and artists about creating environmental awareness through their work. Audiences are encouraged to bike to the event via the Schuylkill River Trail and leave their cars behind. Bike racks will be provided and limited car parking is available. “We use art and recreation as a vehicle to get more people involved in the life of the river, so that they can become stewards of these waters and care and protect them,” said Alie Vidich, producing director and choreographer. “We created INVISIBLE RIVER to bring people to the Schuylkill so they could see the possibilities that seem invisible to most of us – swimming on the river, more boating opportunities for all, healthier creeks that lead from our neighborhoods to the river, and the chance to make the Schuylkill a community space where we gather and celebrate our natural resources and the watershed that gave birth to our city and continues to support us.” Funding for INVISIBLE RIVER has been graciously provided by the William Penn Foundation, Schuylkill Banks, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and many generous individual donors and businesses. INVISIBLE RIVER is part of the Schuylkill River’s “River of the Year” Activities. For more information, please visit www.invisibleriver.org.