When Dance Magazine ran a special insert in 2004 on Philly’s hot new dance scene, Nicole Bindler was already packing for the move. She knew our city would be the place to hone her skills and get inspiration from a thriving community — unlike Boston, where she’d been living for five years.
About a year ago, Bindler, 29, formed her own troupe, the Philadelphia New Dance. This month, the 20-member group, which has performed up and down the East Coast, will stage Games Without End at the Philly Fringe Festival. It’s more drum circle than Swan Lake. The dancers simultaneously improvise movement and music for an avant-garde event that comments on cultural and political issues, as Bindler did in her well-received solo show Print, which explored wartime media.
As more dancers start troupes, rent space, apply for grants and establish themselves, Bindler says, our city’s hipster status will gain credibility: “People are less focused on surviving in Philly. It’s less commercial, and they don’t have to appeal to the mass public. They’re more interested in making work that’s honest.”