About the Event
This immersive performance piece, created by artist John E. Dowell, Jr., blends movement, sound, and photography to explore the sacred nature of the public square—in this case Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. A Public Intimate Space transforms Annenberg Court with Dowell's towering images of Rittenhouse Square, music from composer Maya Miro Johnson, and a chorus of dancers led by choreographer Zane Booker. Dancers for this evening’s performance include Arabia Richardson, Xavier Santafield, and Caylah Teter. The performance, Dowell says, intends to “reveal past and present souls while invoking and visualizing the power of memory within the public square.”
Presented in partnership with the Curtis Institute of Music.
Hear more about the project from Dowell and see a preview of the installation.
John E. Dowell, Jr.
Dowell is a photographer, painter, and printmaker whose work captures the pulse of cities and agricultural landscapes of America. Most recently, he has been working on a large body of photographs illuminating histories of the Black American experience. Over four decades, he has had more than 50 solo exhibitions, and his work is represented in 70 museum and public collections worldwide, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. A Philadelphia native, he is professor emeritus of printmaking at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.
Maya Miro Johnson
Johnson is a composer, conductor, musician, and interdisciplinary artist. She has created a number of compositions, among them a score for Toby Thatcher’s Zeitgeist project, which won both the Schuman and the Surinach Prizes in the 2020 BMI Student Composer Awards. Currently in her fourth year of undergraduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellowship, she also serves as a cover conductor for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Booker began his dance training with the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts at age seven and went on to become one of the company’s principal artists. He joined Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1996 and later appeared as a guest artist with major companies around the world, including the New National Theatre Ballet, Tokyo, the Philadelphia Dance Company, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet, New York. In 2006, he founded the Smoke, Lilies and Jade Arts Initiative, a multimedia dance theater company that promotes HIV/AIDS awareness. Booker served as a master lecturer at the University of the Arts and Howard University and is currently the assistant rehearsal director at Philadanco.