Determined to Be

Passport Dance: Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society

Event Information
Rhoden Arts Center
Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
Join Us
Lori Waselchuk
A single dancer in a white embroidered dress and red embroidered jacket, with detailed face painting and headress, dancing on a stage, twirling long colorful ribbons, one in each hand, swirling around her body.

The Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society will present a Peking Opera program of selected episodes that feature heavily on the dance elements of the art form, such as the Sword Dance, Ribbon Dance, Water Sleeve and Fan Dance.  Don't miss this special PAFA Performance.  The Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society will transport you to ancient China with their elaborate storytelling, brilliant costumes, beautiful arias, and mesmerizing dances.

Free with museum admission

Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society (PCOS) is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of the Chinese community through the study, teaching, and performance of Chinese Opera (Peking Opera). Dating back in the late 18th century, this highly developed and stylized art form is a synthesis of many Chinese cultural elements: song, music, dance, dramatization, martial arts, acrobatics, costume, face painting, folk art, and traditional narratives.

Extraordinary masters from important Beijing opera families along with many dedicated learners came together in February 1999 to establish PCOS in Philadelphia, making it our region’s first and only Peking Opera organization. Based in Philadelphia and led by acclaimed Artistic Director Shuyuan Li. PCOS conducts classes on all aspects of Chinese Opera, hosts educational activities, and performs throughout the region for special engagements and longer touring schedules.

PCOS members are committed to discovering and perpetuating Chinese opera, and they draw equal value from the art form and the community that they create in the process of learning and performing together.

Black and white photograph of John Rhoden and two unidentified men in front of a pyramid. Rhoden is wearing a headscarf and another man is wearing a fez.

Passport Dance is inspired by the American sculpture John Rhoden (1916 - 2001), who was an accomplished, world-traveled artist. John Rhoden made every effort to meet new people anywhere he went. He developed networks with international artists, sharing skills, techniques, and ideas along the way. Rhoden attended the American Academy in Rome from 1951 to 1954 first on a Fulbright Fellowship and then the Prix de Rome. Rhoden was selected by the United States Department of State to serve as an art specialist from 1955 through 1959 as a part of the International Cultural Exchange and Fair Participation Act of 1956 (ambassadors were sent as early as 1954). During this service, he visited over 20 countries [including Iceland, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Uganda, Tanganyika (now Tanzania), Zanzibar (now Tanzania), the USSR, Poland, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and the Soviet Union] in an official capacity. Learn more about this extraordinary artist in the exhibition, Determined To Be: The Sculpture of John Rhoden, and the John Rhoden Digital Archives.