No Man’s Land


No Man’s Land

Old City Arts produced No Man’s Land as their spring event in 1979. Over 60 artists contributed their efforts as performers, set builders, fundraisers and collaborators in the realization of the large-scale spectacle staged over several city blocks. The performance was intended to be more of an impressionistic experience loosely based on themes from Homers’ Odyssey.

No Man’s Land is many things. A territory between Old City and Northern Liberties sections of Philadelphia and a multi focused episodic danced, mimed and sung myth-derived fanciful exploration of a collaborative vision of unreality. That it is richly collaborative is why it was so exciting. That it was joyous, silly, sometimes messy and sometimes smooth is why it is so much fun.

…the work was structured with successive waves of action passing across the performing space – such as the dancers who ‘flew’ the auger birds from behind a large white barn-like structure to the left – or with more sustained vignettes of mimed action, like Hermes’ and Athene’s struggle with the moving mountain…the work’s directors avoided the circus’ frustrating policy of saturation entertainment, and we were able to concentrate, pretty much, at one event at a time.”

Dance :Visions of Unreality,
– Richard Rutherford, The Drummer, June 13-20,1979

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The research for the OCA History Project is ongoing...

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