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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Headlong Dance Theater

Various venues

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HDT was founded in 1993 by David Brick, Andrew Simonet, and Amy Smith, all of whom collaborate with the company’s dancers to create witty, idiosyncratic, thoroughly entertaining, and thought-provoking work.

Using an encyclopedia of references for movement, HDT draws from ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap, contact improvisation, release technique, theatre, sports, sign language, and other sources to create unique choreography for every one of the over 40 pieces they have in their repertory. Using structured improvisation, much of their work is created on the spot, inspired by a theme or a location. Hotel Pool, for example, is a clever and engaging piece that takes place at night in an actual pool. Cell, a thoroughly unique piece, involves calling one person via cell phone and guiding him/her to specific locations to experience members of the company as they react to the space. In this regard, the company is always finding interesting ways of breaking down traditional structure and expectation, creating work in alternative venues and often presenting free concerts to engage new audiences.

Made up of mature dancers who combine dance with theater, HDT makes their home at The Parlor, formerly Fiorentino’s Funeral Parlor, which is quite in keeping with their ironic take on life. Their costumes are housed in the embalming room.

HDT tours regionally, nationally, and occasionally internationally. They are recipients of a Bessie Award and a Pew Fellowship and continue to expand their repertoire with their intelligent take on contemporary culture.

Headlong Dance Theater Information

  • Public Transportation: Varies by venues
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue, but generally good
  • Performances/Programs: 3–4 per year, with multiple performances of most, plus several national tours throughout the year
  • Ticket Prices: Ticket prices vary widely by event and venue, but usually range from $30–$50
  • Membership: There is no annual membership program. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.