PIFA 2016 Details Revealed


A scene from "Knitting Peace."

A scene from “Knitting Peace.”

An interactive fire and sand performance, a circus made of yarn, and a traveling symphony played in water fountains are just some of the strangely wondrous acts that have been revealed as part of the Kimmel Center’s PIFA 2016 cycle, returning to the city this April.

The theme for this Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is “We Are What We Make,” and will feature over 60 unique events that highlight a variety of genres and forms from both local artists and performers from around the world.

“The works were meant to challenge not only the artists but those who appreciate art to look deeper and get something unique from this experience, which will last long after the Festival is over,” according to Jay Wahl, Artistic Director for the Kimmel.

Several PIFA standards will be returning, including a giant installation in the Kimmel Center lobby (remember the huge Eiffel Tower and beating heart?), this time constructed by MacArthur Genius Award-winner Mimi Lien. Also, the massive PIFA Street Fair will invade Broad Street at the end of the festival on April 23.

The opening night features the American premiere of Carabosse Company and Teatro Linea de Sombra’s large-scale work Article 13, which is described as a “memorial, made of sand and fire, [that] personifies the scope of the phenomenon of immigration through the non-traditional presentation of statistical data, economic evidence, geopolitical aspects, the forms of those who have disappeared, and how things relate to each other. Along this path of inhabited installation, audiences are touched by words, snatches of conversation, and accounts given by migrants.”

Other announced highlights include the American premiere of Knitting Peace by Cirkus Cirkör, which features a set made of 75% yarn, Concerto in Sea Major, an roving orchestra that plays in public fountains, and new works by Philadanco and Curtis Institute, which shows PIFA’s commitment to including local Philadelphia artists as part of the program.

“To see our local arts organizations coming together in collaboration with one another, as well as with the renowned international artists joining us from around the world, is sure to be an extraordinary experience for the hundreds of thousands touched by PIFA,” said Kimmel CEO Anne Ewers.

A list of currently announced performances are listed here, and more will be announced throughout the next several months. PIFA packages are currently on sale now, with individual tickets going on sale December 7. For more information, visit their website.