Over the last 15 years, Philadelphia's dance climate has improved dramatically. Festivals such as the Live Arts/Fringe and the now-dormant DanceBoom! cultivate ever-larger audiences, and excellent university dance departments turn out performers who often plant roots here instead of heading north. The funding climate lures out-of-towners - Headlong Dance Theater, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers - to relocate here, providing both competition for the community's dancers and mentoring in alternative styles and dance vocabularies.
And the word about the exceptional work of local dance-makers is getting out in new ways. Dance-loving Web guru Steven Weisz started a listserv a few years ago that has grown into PhiladelphiaDANCE.org, a rich site serving the dance community and its audiences. And my fellow critic Ellen Dunkel, a producer at Philly.com, has built a dance page that will lead you to reviews, video, and information on any kind of dance you like at http://www.philly.com/dance/.