Indigenous Pitch Dance Collective, Inc. is a collective of ethnically diverse Philadelphia-based dance companies whose goal is to create and perform works of artistic excellence that reflect and highlight the diversity of our city and its native, homegrown dance styles. We support emerging choreographers by providing rehearsal space, critical feedback and performance opportunities in which to explore and develop their artistic styles. Through the art of dance, we assist and nurture children affected by natural and/or socioeconomic disasters. We fulfill this mission with performances, residencies and workshops throughout the United States and abroad.
IPDC first formed in 2006 to produce a show for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. The initial performance was called “Indigenous Pitch” and was made up of the core IPDC companies: Binc, Illadelphlave, and Underground Dance Works. After a successful performance, the name stuck and the performing aspect of Indigenous Pitch was formed.
In 2007, director of First Position Movement Arts Center, Lisa Welsh, attended a presentation given by Pastor Mike Hogg of Canal Street Presbyterian Church on the work he was doing in New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He invited visiting teams to contribute whatever resources they could towards reconstruction. After viewing photos of the obliterated homes and victimized children, Lisa was inspired to bring hope back to these forgotten youth. Upon contacting Pastor Hogg, a free one week dance camp was proposed for area children in desperate need of involvement.
From July 28th- August 10th, 11 volunteer instructors made the camp a reality when they traveled to New Orleans to teach the art of dance to over 60 children ages 6-18. The children experienced two daily technique classes in the following styles: Hip-Hop,, Ballet, Tap, Breakin’, Afro-Modern, Jazz Funk, and Yoga. The children also played improvisation games, created art projects and choreography. Each day of the week had specific themes that included Community, Trust, Future/Dreams, and Water. Each child received a journal, which was used to probe questions raised by these themes as well as a place to write his/her innermost thoughts. The week culminated with a performance of choreography based on these personal accounts and a cook out for the entire community. The collaborative dance was profoundly cathartic for performer and viewer alike. The unique bonds that were formed during this intense artistic exchange will last a lifetime.
Upon returning from New Orleans, Indigenous Pitch produced their second critically acclaimed performance for the Fringe Festival entitled “InDiversity” in September 2007. Companies included the core IPDC companies as well as additional companies Stephen Welsh/SWERVE and DanceTron Infinity.
Indigenous Pitch is committed to returning to New Orleans for a three-week camp for the summer of 2010. We hope to continue building relationships with these children, so they will return to camp year after year. It is our desire to see them gain self-confidence, trust in the future and the life skills necessary to move forward beyond this tragic event.
We are planning our first international trip for July 2010. A team from IPDC will bring our healing arts programs to the children of Haiti, devastated by the January 2010 earthquake. Support is needed for this project!
We also plan to continue our camp to children in our own backyard of Philadelphia. This Spring Break camp will be the second in North Philly. With the recent dissolution of the after school programs, the need for organized, constructive, and exciting outlets for these urban youth, are critically necessary. We plan to partner with existing family service organizations to serve these at risk youth with our uniquely transformative approach. IPDC will soon be offering our dance camps after school and during school holidays with the added benefit of child care for many working parents.
In performance, Indigenous Pitch will continue producing works of artistic excellence for our first year with two season. February 19th and 20th at the Painted Bride is our Winter Season. We expect a Fall Season in October. As dance artists, we will continue to create carefully crafted and highly entertaining works that display our belief in a more compassionate society.