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The Engine


Categories: Dance, Interdisciplinary, Immersive

Dates: September 19, 2021 - September 21, 2021

Run Time: 60 mins

Venue: The Rail Park


The Engine is a solo dance that imagines: What if my body was a locomotive engine? Taking place outdoors, under the moon, along a trail that used to be what the French call chemin de fer (iron path/railway), this performance invites each of us to wonder about what propels us and where we’re headed. This original work is created and performed by Philadelphia-based dance artist Asimina Chremos, whose work “…reveals the world—its materiality and politics and social structures—as less solid, more permeable, surprising and strange than we might think it is.” (David Brick, Co-Founder/Artistic Director, Headlong Dance Theater)

 The Engine journeys through the embodiment of urban, historical, and human transformations, cleverly incorporating vintage costume, ingenious lighting, historical steam engine sounds, poetic text, shadow puppetry—and of course, Chremos’ uniquely fluid and expressive dancing. Chremos embodies ideas playfully and seriously, takes their time, employs curiosity, and observes deeply. Their movement often explores strength as a nuanced resource of self-determining pleasure—avoiding, or playing with, social associations of power and vanity, always in relationship to their own changing body and psyche. Chremos’ dancing relates to a physical world that is constantly re-framed for an audience through the lens of shifting, subtle perceptions.

The Engine will run for a series of three performances at The Rail Park, a disused section of elevated rail line in the Callowhill neighborhood that has been transformed into a public space with plantings and places for walking, sitting, and relaxing. The Engine is partially improvised, meaning no two performances will be exactly alike. It begins with a 5-minute ambulatory audio experience before continuing as a seated event. Each performance will run between 45 minutes and one hour. Audiences are limited to 15 per performance.

Asimina Chremos Asimina Chremos is a Philadelphia-based artist whose practice encompasses performance and visual arts. They performed as a soloist and corps de ballet member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater in the 1980's; created a femme-drag performance-artist persona in Philadelphia in the 1990's; and refined a personal improvisational movement language and performance practice through collaborations with musicians while living in Chicago in the 2000's.

"Asimina reveals the world, its materiality and politics and social structures as less solid, and more permeable, surprising and strange than we might think it is. And they do it—intensely and skillfully—through the vehicle of a performing body, metastasizing proposals about being in a body and being in a world that is at once and impossibly, wild and serene."

-- David Brick, Co-Founder/Artistic Director, Headlong Dance Theater


Lead Artist and Project Manager: Asimina Chremos, Dramaturg and Production Assistant: Grace Mi-He Lee


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