NEW YORK CITY: Little Island, New York’s public park in Hudson River Park, has announced the lineup for the 2021 Storytelling Festival, to run July 21-25, and the Dance Festival, which will run Sept. 15-19. The Storytelling Festival is curated by Little Island artists-in-residence PigPen Theatre Co., while the Dance Festival is curated by artist-in-residence Ayodele Casel and co-curator Torya Beard.
“The Storytelling Festival is a true culmination of our past decade’s journey and community building,” said PigPen Theatre Co. in a statement. “We’ve had the good fortune of learning much and meeting many during our years performing at school festivals, music festivals, and theatre festivals. To build our own festival is a dream come true.”
The multidisciplinary Storytelling Festival will feature singer-songwriters, musicians, poets, and more to illuminate storytelling in a variety of art forms. Programs will mix and match genres while artists will invite audiences to collaborate in the creative process. Artists include Adam O’Farrill; Amber Iman; Ato Blankson-Wood; Bandits on the Run; Brian Quijada; Broken Box Mime Theater; Cherrye J. Davis; Daniel J. Watts; Daniel Nayeri; Darius de Haas; David Farrell Melton; Ed Rosini; Griots in Concert; Hiroyuki Matsuura; Ike Holter; Ishita Jain; Jon Lampley; Jon Sands; Jose Llana; Kate Ferber; Kim Blanck; Kuhoo Verma; Le’Asha; Liana Stampur; Lydia Fine and Tony Blahd; Mahogany L. Browne; Mark Dover; Max Posner; Michael Thurber; Mike Brun; Mikhail Fiksel; Phil Kaye; PigPen Theatre Co.; Rajna Swaminathan; Rebecca Haff Lowry and David L. Haff; Rebecca Naomi Jones; Sara Porkalob; Sarah Kay; Savannah Harris; Shaina Taub; Stephanie Chou; Tessa Lark; Little Island community partner Westbeth: You’re Never Too Old To Play; The Westerlies; and more to be announced later.
The Dance Festival will feature tap artists, classical and contemporary Indian dance, African drumming, and a variety of other performances. The park-wide takeover of percussive dance forms will celebrate National Dance Day on September 18 with the premiere of new works by four choreographers chosen by Casel and Beard. The festival lineup includes Aaron Mattocks; the Afro-Latineers; Andre Imanishi; Barkha Patel; Brinae Ali & Sean Jones’ Dizzy Spellz; Brinda Guha; Crystal Monee Hall; Danni Gee; Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance; Evidence, A Dance Company; House of Xtravaganza; Jared Alexander Sprague; Leo Manzari; Leonardo Sandoval & Music from the Sole; Maurice Chestnut’s Dance Therapy; Michela Marino Lerman’s Love Movement; Michiyaya Dance, Morgan James, and Doug Wamble; MOVE|NYC|; Paradise Drummers; Rokafella; It’s Showtime NYC; Ted Louis Levy; Tomoe Carr; and more to be announced later.
“We are overjoyed to have the opportunity to curate a festival centering percussive dance artists whose work is deeply rooted in unabashed cultural expression,” Casel and Beard said in a statement. “We eagerly anticipate spending the week at Little Island celebrating dance, music, and the joy of being in community with each other and audiences in person again.”
Unvaccinated patrons will be required to wear their masks at the festivals when social distancing is not possible. The majority of the programming will be available for free.
Little Island is a new public park primarily funded by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation that features a lush, seasonal landscape with dazzling views of New York City. The park, which features a 687-seat amphitheatre, an open plaza, and a 200-seat theatre, is an addition to Hudson River Park.
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