Daring French aerialists coming back for another PIFA

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Compagnie Trans Express brings PIFA’s Parisian Street Fair to a close with an aerial performance that features a human carillon dancing, playing music and soaring 200 feet above Broad Street. Credit: Henry Kuhl.

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will be back in 2018. Leading the way will be the return of Transe Express, the French troupe that wowed spectators at the massive 2011 PIFA street fair with an aerial performance on Broad Street.

The festival is scheduled for June 1-10 next year, with the street fair landing June 9, said Anne Ewers, head of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, organizer of the festival.

This time around, Transe Express will perform the world premiere of Crystal Palace, which PIFA officials described as “a 30-foot human chandelier with more than 50 live performers and dancers.”

The performance, involving air acrobats and integrated dance groups, will embrace the history of dance, everything from the waltz and tango to funk and techno, PIFA officials said. Spectators will be encouraged to participate.

Transe Express will perform each day of the festival at locations yet to be determined, officials said.

Ewers also announced that the Kimmel Center has become the only U.S. member of In Situ, a network of European presenters specializing in art in public spaces. Ewers said In Situ would allow the Kimmel to bring unique European performances to Philadelphia.