About Cardell Dance Theater

Cardell Dance Theater is a professional ensemble that gathers artists to create innovative and provocative dance performances. We develop projects intending to dismantle all forms of oppression and passionately believe that artistic expression and imagination could promote essential global change. The company was founded as S. Cardell Danza in 1992 in Buenos Aires, based at Sala Ana Itelman and performing in major dance festivals sponsored by Red Latinoamericana de Productores de Danza, Fundacion Antorchas, Instituto Nacional del Teatro and Secretaria de Cultura de la Nacion, among others.  Relocated to Philadelphia in 2009, renamed Cardell Dance Theater performed at the H. Prince Theater, the Annenberg Center of the Performing Arts, The Painted Bride, The Wilma Theater, Christ Church Neighborhood Theater, The Arts Bank, the CEC Theater, Georgian Court University, Swarthmore College, Mt Vernon Dance Space, Falls Bridge -Philly PARD, New Dance House, New Festival, SDHS at The University of the Arts, The Ice Box at the Crane Building, and La MaMa Theater Club in New York City.

Supported by a New England Foundation for the Arts – National Dance Project touring grant, Cardell Dance Theater performed at Black Mountain College Museum, North Carolina, the Ferst Center in Atlanta, the Dance Complex in Massachusetts, URBN Center Westphal College Black Box Theater at Drexel University and Palacio de Las Bellas Artes at Festival de Danza Contemporanea EDANCO in the Dominican Republic, supported by The Mid Atlantic Foundation.

Cardell Dance Theater has received funding from John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Swarthmore College Project, The University of the Arts, Georgian Court University Summer Research Grant, The Pew Center for the Arts & Heritage Project grant, Mid Atlantic Foundation for Arts, and New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project, and NEFA Finalist Award.

The company also receives partial support from The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, a multi- year grant, City of Philadelphia’s Art in Action Initiative managed by the Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy.


Cardell Dance Studio

About the Studio

Cardell Dance Studio is place where dance, performance, and community engagement will meet

We offer dance classes and workshops for all ages and levels

“My aim is to promote civic engagement through dance to create positive social change. The studio is a headquarter to gather artists and audiences to achieve this mission.”

-Silvana Cardell

Professional—as well as recreational—classes and workshops  will be taught by movement artists and dance innovators, including by company members with a weekly master class by choreographer Silvana Cardell, the artistic director of Cardell Dance Theater.

We offer dance and movement classes for the Art Museum Area community of all ages, including for youth and seniors, and all levels, including professionals and non-professionals.

Additionally, Cardell Dance Studio provides affordable rental space for artistic practice, showings, and events.  

About the Building

This beautifully renovated industrial building features full facade windows facing Fairmont Avenue and the rear windows facing Melon Street, 2000 square footage on wood floors, full kitchen, and restroom/changing rooms. The Studio is four blocks from the Broad Street Subway and close proximity to Center City, and just a 10–15 minute drive from most of Northwest Philadelphia.

Artist Statement

My mission is to create imaginative dance. As a female Latinx artist, through my own in-betweenness, I relate to many people that reside in the uncertainty and breadth of the liminal stage. My dance travels with me, moving through territories, my work aims to empower bodies by opening equity, inclusion, defying stereotypes, and creating synergies with audiences.

Living in a time of increasing civic and social justice crisis, and a pandemic, we are facing unprecedented insecurity and precariousness. I firmly believe that artistic expression and imagination are needed to spark essential global change. Addressing these concerns, my artistic work becomes a personal quest; I create performances to comprehend further what is at stake, how to move forward. I examine contemporary issues, aiming to provoke uncomfortable yet urgent conversations and reflections.

As an artist, I feel a responsibility to intensify my creativity to face these problems and seek solutions. I believe that our times call for a new kind of art—one that is open and interactive, designed to energize and encourage new thinking. I find in my body the most powerful voice.

Overextended and in a restless exploration of new horizons, my ever-changing body has defiantly crossed borders. I have moved back and forth between the US and Argentina during the past three decades. Becoming the immigrant “other” has enhanced my awareness of how dislocation, race, nationality, and culture affect how bodies are valued. My performances offer a critical intervention that makes visible neglected causes. I create performances that portray moving bodies resisting and adapting to vast, often unpredictable forces, whether cultural, economic, political, or environmental.

My work explores how private narratives intersect with the collective. Reimagining forces that affect bodies in everyday life, I examine social justice themes such as environmental racism, human displacement, and the bio-politics of “disposable,” exploitable bodies — women, immigrants, and non-human animals.