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Philadanco mixes pop influences in new works

Led Zeppelin meets Zap Mama. Black power pairs with scientific insight. Expect these and other unexpected intersections of pop culture when Philadanco returns to the Rialto this weekend. The Philadelphia Dance Company, which performed to a sold-out crowd here in 1999, debuts two new pieces and also resurrects some recent works from its repertory.

From its new Messages from the Heart program, the troupe performs "My Science," a piece choreographed by Bebe Miller and set to the music of La Voix Bulgare and Led Zeppelin that examines the crossroads of science and imagination. The second selection from that program is choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's "Hand Signing Song," which references the "dap" hand signal, used to identify African-American solidarity.

In addition to new material, Philadanco also will perform "Labess II," a 2000 work choreographed by David Brown and backed by the music from a capella women's ensemble Zap Mama. Expect a colorful high-energy, fast-paced brand of modern dance from this 31-year-old African-American dance troupe.

Philadanco performs Sat., Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts, 80 Forsyth St. $25-$45. 404-651-4727.

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