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Queensboro Dance Festival to Kick Off May 15, More Than 20 Events Planned

Karla Florez School of Dance (Photo: Josef Pinlac)

May 5, 2021 By Christina Santucci

The Queensboro Dance Festival will kick off later this month and will feature more than 20 outdoor events.

The festival will begin on May 15 and will run through Oct. 3. All events will be live streamed.

Organizers plan to release information and dates for the performances throughout the season via the festival’s Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and website.

“Expect lots of surprises, community love, and chances to dance,” said Karesia Batan, festival director, in a statement.

This year’s Queensboro Dance Festival will feature 23 borough-based dance companies, which will perform an array of classic and cultural dance styles including Dervish, tap, Indian, modern, Mexican, Greek, Filipino, hip-hop, and Hula.

Nearly all of the lineup will present brand new dances, with many reflecting on the ongoing pandemic.

Greek American Folklore Society (Photo: Josef Pinlac)

The festival will also include a number of Instagram Live sessions filmed in the neighborhoods where the companies are based, which include Long Island City, Woodside, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Forest Hills, East Elmhurst, Flushing and Rosedale.

These IG Lives may include dance classes, behind the scenes footage and Q&A sessions with performers and choreographers.

The festival is also providing its dancers with free rehearsal space this year because some of their studios may still be closed or have limited hours for practice. Organizers plan to use the city’s new Open Culture program to hold some rehearsals and performances on Queens streets.

Batan said that organizers opted to move the festival online last year after the COVID-19 virus had started spreading in New York City.

“With the whole world needing to start turning to virtual, we also had to pivot and start building a virtual audience in addition to our in person audience,” she said.

While not ideal, the virtual format has provided some benefits.

“The upside of it is that we have been able to reach more people — beyond Queens,” Batan said.

2021 Queensboro Dance Festival companies (and their home neighborhoods):

Amy Marshall Dance Company (East Elmhurst)

Antara Saha (Astoria)

Chevalier Ballet (Astoria)

Chieh Hsiung (Woodside)

chrisbelldances (LIC)

Cole Collective (Astoria)

Demi Remick & Dancers (Astoria)

Drye/Marinaro Dance Company (Forest Hills)

Flamenco Latino (Jackson Heights)

Gotham Dance Theater (Woodside)

Greek American Folklore Society (Astoria)

Kinding Sindaw (Jackson Heights)

Mala’s Odissi (Forest Hills)

Manhatitlan (LIC)

Marlaina Garcia Riegelsberger  (Flushing)

Na Pua Mai Ka Lani Nuioka (Forest Hills)

NK&D / a movement company (Astoria)

Noora Dance Theater (Astoria)

Ramzi World Dance (Astoria)

Robert Mark Dance (Astoria)

Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre (LIC)

The Kingdom Dance Company (Rosedale)

Trevor Ricardo Spencer Jr (Rosedale)

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It’s a wonderful thing, hopefully will stay a long time tradition. Keeping the ethnic dance, costume, music – it’s very important for us all

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