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Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre hosts annual festival in Middle Village

Jun. 5, 2023 By Paul Frangipane

Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre welcomed dance lovers to Middle Village on Sunday night with its annual free outdoor festival.

An attentive crowd gathered in the back patio of the theatre, located at 66-85 73rd Pl., on June 4 for five diverse pieces put on by artists from around the city.

Hannah Dillenbeck and Marina Vianello perform a duet in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4.Photo by Paul Frangipane

Hannah Dillenbeck and Marina Vianello perform a duet in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4.Photo by Paul Frangipane

Salvatore LaRussa, the theatre’s artistic director and choreographer, said the event is a way to bring the arts to the neighborhood and provide an offering for the community.

“The Queens community, it’s an area I feel is lacking in the arts,” LaRussa said. “So we bring this every spring and fall just to get the community together, get all of us together and give dancers opportunities.”

Alex Skibinski performs in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4, 2023.Photo by Paul Frangipane

Brei Snyder performs in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4.Photo by Paul Frangipane

The night’s performances ranged from experimental to classical with a program showcasing solo acts and company pieces, providing an exciting array of entertainment for the audience.

Dancer Dina Denis, who grew up in Middle Village, echoed LaRussa’s sentiments, saying the area needs more accessible dance.

Dina Denis performs in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4.Photo by Paul Frangipane

“To bring professional work, to give the community a taste of what people are doing around New York City, I think is a really big deal and it’s a nice opportunity for the audience and us.”

LaRussa based the concept of the festivals on his childhood experiences hosting dance performances in his Middle Village backyard. Now he’s been hosting the events at the theatre for 14 years.

Dancers perform in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4.Photo by Paul Frangipane

Dancers perform in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4.Photo by Paul Frangipane

LaRussa Dance Theatre will host its next free outdoor festival in October.

For more information, visit sldt.org.

Brei Snyder performs in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4, 2023.Photo by Paul Frangipane

Alex Skibinski performs in Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre’s annual spring outdoor dance festival in Middle Village on Sunday, June 4.Photo by Paul Frangipane

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