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Philly arts fest opens with 'time travel' theme

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm •  Published: March 28, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The city's newest arts festival has returned with a month of music, dance, theater, visual arts and family activities, all loosely based on the topic of time travel.

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts kicked off Thursday and runs through April 27 at locations around the city.

The theme is "If You Had a Time Machine." More than 50 events, installations and performances from local, national and international artists are exploring a wide range of questions related to time travel, many looking at historic events in a novel way or imagining what the future will bring.

The festival's marquee names include Tony Award-winning choreographer and dancer Savion Glover, who is launching the festival's opening weekend with "Dance Space," a world premiere he says will take audiences back to the beginning of the universe.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will pay homage to Judy Garland's 1961 Carnegie Hall performance with his show "Prima! Rufus! Judy!" on April 21, while Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Danilo Perez on April 26 will use multi-instrumental jazz improvisation to commemorate Balboa's discovery of the Pacific Ocean in 1513.

On April 12, Baltimore-based electronic musician Dan Deacon celebrates the first email, sent by inventor Ray Tomlinson in 1971, with an event that will allow audiences to participate in the performance with their smartphones.

The festival's core exhibit in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is an imaginary time machine, actually a 100-feet-long corkscrew spiral that visitors can walk through and experience changing sights and sounds. Free performances are happening on most nights around the time machine, from a musical production called "Flash of Time" to a comedy troupe presenting the pitfalls of time travel with a show called "Shut Your Wormhole."

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