Fit Fest, a Full Day Celebration of Arts and Fitness, Returns to Shackamaxon/Penn Treaty Park May 27

-Courtesy of Perpetual Motion PR
photo by Daniel Kontz

Cannonball producer Almanac Dance Circus Theatre has its roots in creating work in public spaces. This Spring the company is thrilled to invite the public to join them with a free, immersive, multidisciplinary outdoor arts and fitness festival for all ages and abilities. Fit Fest celebrates our collective human freedom to move in local public spaces. Now in its third year, Fit Fest will feature performances and classes from local and international artists, a flashmob that everyone can join, an under-16 all styles dance battle, and much more. This event is designed to bring movement communities together and celebrate public spaces as a gathering place for fitness and creation. This year, the event returns on Saturday, May 27 from 12-6 pm at the park at 1301 Beach Street in Fishtown. More information can be found at

“Now that Fit Fest is in its third year, we are really excited to offer a super fun, completely free to attend day of world-class performance and participatory movement activities for those looking to move – just a little bit, or quite a lot” says Almanac co-founder and producer Ben Grinberg. “Thanks to the support of the Penn Treaty Special Services District, we are able to offer an event which ignites a shared and universal curiosity around movement on Memorial Day weekend for all those that aren’t able to or don’t want to leave the city.” 

Highlights of this year’s performances will include the cutting-edge, site specific contemporary circus of France-based Keep Company, Native Nations Dance Theatre, Hip-Hop Fundamentals, and an ensemble of dancers lead by choreographer Megan Mazarick. Throughout the day, everyone can learn the steps to a Flashmob dance, which will be performed all together just before the end of the festival. Participants will have several opportunities to try on circus skills including partner acrobatics, handstands, aerials and juggling from Acro& and members of Almanac, while younger movers can compete for custom graffiti trophies in an under-16 Dance Battle. Those looking for less exertion can participate in somatic walking tours lead by fidget’s Megan Bridge and Rhonda Moore or take part in a gentle stretch class lead by local artist Christina Gesualdi. Other events and workshops will continue to be added to the lineup up until the big day, along with food trucks offering healthier options and classes for younger children, making for a festival and bursts with energy and movement. Almanac will also present excerpts from their work Communitas, which was created in the park. 

“Shackamaxon has given all of us so much – especially Almanac,” said Grinberg. “This land supported us, inspired us, and offered us a soft place to land as we were learning, falling, failing, and eventually making our first piece ever, Communitas, right here in the park. As we look forward to bringing this piece to Jacob’s Pillow this Summer, we’re so excited to share our love of place and of movement alongside so many other artists and movers who make our community so unique.”

One of the headliners of the festival will be Keep Company, from France’s piece Compost. Compost is organic material decomposed by nature and used to grow new life. Abby and Luca work in the same manner by (metaphorically) collecting elements from their environment, deconstructing and composting these elements and then using the new material to nourish themselves and their audiences. With original and off-beat gestures, they make wild and untamed beings reappear and every day surroundings stand out. Observing and listening to the almost imperceptible rhythms of the plants and animals that make up their performance space, their choreography invites viewers to imagine the invisible and perceive the tiny. Like a photographic lens, viewers can “zoom in” and “zoom out” of the setting to notice the particularities of everything alive and organic. Compost is an original and humorous circus performance that invites us to look more closely and completely at our environment.  Keep Company is a contemporary circus company founded in 2018 by Luca Bernini and Abby Neuberger after their graduation from the higher circus arts school “L’Académie Fratellini” in Paris. With the liberty that their specialty “partner acrobatics” allows, Abby and Luca decided to focus on creating shows for public spaces to be able to reach a wide range of audiences. 

Almanac Dance Circus Theatre
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre is an award winning, internationally recognized, Philadelphia-based performing arts ensemble dedicated to creating original works of genre-defying art.

Through hybrid experimentation, deep narratives, and open environments of circus learning, Almanac gives audiences access to a little bit (or a lot of) everything so they can experience the vicarious thrill of performance without barriers.

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