The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

INSITU Dance Festival in Queens an Exciting Performance Series

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 5, 2018 21:17

1 user

The InsituDance Festival took place in four outdoor locations in Queens, New York City. It featured intriguing and exciting dance performances during the first weekend of August.

Fans of modern dance, public arts programming and New York City public parks had a special opportunity to watch and participate in modern dance performances on Aug. 4 and 5 in four locations across Queens.

The InsituDance Festival 2018 featured several dance groups, offering site-specific dances at the Socrates Sculpture Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queensbridge Park and Hunter Point South Park. More than 20 choreographers contributed works to this two-day festival, and a few of the dances even gave the audience opportunities to move and engage. The festival had free admission.

Performers and organizers fretted that heavy rain on that Saturday morning would conflict with the dance schedule, but the rain ended and the sun shone, so with a few minor delays, the dances commenced.

I viewed Saturday afternoon performances at Socrates Park and at Gantry Plaza; it was my first visit ever to Gantry, which is notable for featuring an iconic 1936 Pepsi Cola sign and bottle, landmarked in 2016. The dances given at both locations touched upon a variety of styles and ethnic influences. Some dances featured small groups while others were solo or duet pieces.

At Socrates I watched four performances. First was Sophie Maguire and Emma Wiseman in "Mimosa Pudica," a leisurely two-woman piece in which each dancer wore a large animal mask and moved as stylized animals around a section of the park.

Next up was Javier Padilla and the Movement Playground dancing "Full, Flock, Folk, Together"; this was a stirring dance performed by a group of young women who moved from a sculpture in the park to an area nearer to the edge, so that their background was Roosevelt Island in the distance. The dancers moved to an eerie piece of recorded music and a poem.

Then there was Babacar Top/Topdance Company with "Anger of Bulimia," a male-female duet that featured moves reminiscent of capoeira and gymnastics. A musician garbed in a traditional African outfit alternated between playing a large stringed instrument and a large hand drum.

Next were the Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival performing "Gentrification of My Beat," the most spirited of those I saw here. The audience clapped along and chanted parts of the music and lyrics that accompanied the dancers. There were a few other performances later that I did not see.

At Gantry Plaza I watched two performances. First was Sarah Chien's "Pathway," in which she danced partly on park benches. Live vocalist Amelia Lang-Wallace sang soulfully, and at the end of the dance Chien invited audience members to march along with her.

Next was Sarah Elgart/Arrogant Elbow dancing "Shape of Memory," which was performed in the shadow of the Pepsi Cola sign. A handful of female and male dancers, including one dressed as a scarecrow, performed as a few children coincidentally rode scooters past them.

It was a wonderful experience, thought-provoking and touching. Outdoor dance is indeed special.

Ellen Levitt

Posted on August 5, 2018 21:17

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: WTOP

California law that blocked posting actors’ ages struck down Ursula K. Le Guin wins posthumous prize for essay writing...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest