Gripping personal stories of survival in the face of debilitating illness inform the narrative of dance-circus-theatre piece


How do we move on from trauma, even as it threatens to consume us? Barrymore Award-Winning Almanac, Philadelphia’s beloved dance circus theatre company, will present The Edge, a brand new work lead by Associate Artists Desirée Hall and Mia Donata Rocchio.  An ensemble of 6 acrobatic performers embody physicality based on interviews with the loved ones of the lead artists, dealing with cancer, Alzheimers, and more. The piece will be a part of the 2019 FringeArts Festival and runs for 18  performances August 29 – September 12 with two preview performances August 27- August 28 at the Community Education Center in West Philadelphia. For performance schedule and ticket information, please see the attached Fact Sheet.


The sticky unknown between life and death is an uncharted land of high extremes. These chaotic realities conjure acrobatic feats infused with horror and farse-like comedy. Through video, acrobatic dance, and live music, brave characters unearth how sanity is found when stability tempts desertion. This original piece reveals relationships between sufferers of debilitating diseases and their caretakers. It’s a kinetic navigation of grief, the balance point between vitality and decay, and the slaphappy effect of unusual routines.


After offering “Fringe Hits” Exile 2588, Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes, and Jeanne/Jean/John/Jawn in the past 3 Fringe Festivals, The Edge is the first Almanac project lead by the company’s Associate Artists. The Associate Artists train and perform with the company, and are excited to explore this highly personal subject matter in signature Almanac style. The Edge also features performances from some of the region’s most exciting circus and theatre artists, including Associate Artists Jessica Adams and Christine Morano. The piece will feature live, original music by Austin Blakely, who uses synthesizers and digital production techniques to create a sequence of rhythms through real time collaboration.


“Being the primary caretaker for my life-partner starting at the age of 24 made it challenging to relate to those around me, especially when I didn’t see many other people my age going through serious life changes in that way” says co-lead artist Desirée Hall. “Sometimes it feels like cancer spreads onto me, but then I realize, I can’t allow that–I have a choice, she doesn’t. Making this piece enabled me to empathize with her in a new, more objective way; I was able to see the hope, growth and change of perspective within and underneath the pain and fear, and that moved me in a very special way. I have no doubt that it will affect the audience in the same way.”

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