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Queensboro Dance Festival to kick off 10th season next month, with 30 events planned across the borough

The Queensboro Dance Festival will celebrate its 10th season with a record 30 outdoor events set to take place across the borough. Performers and organizers pictured at a launch event on May 2. (Photo provided by Karesia Batan)

May 5, 2023 By Michael Dorgan

The Queensboro Dance Festival will celebrate its 10th season next month and organizers plan on making it a year to remember with 30 outdoor events set to take place across the borough.

The dance festival will kick off on June 3 and will run throughout the summer with the final event taking place on Sept. 17, as part of a three-day closing weekend. Performances will take place throughout western Queens neighborhoods such as Jackson Heights, Corona and Ridgewood, as well as in Rochdale and Far Rockaway.

This season’s lineup will include 25 dance companies representing 18 different dance cultures, organizers said. Nearly all the dance routines will be new works and performed publicly for the first time, organizers said. All events take place outdoors and are free to attend, bar the final weekend which will be ticketed.

Several dance companies performed at an event in Jackson Heights on Tuesday, May 2, to preview the festival.

Karesia Batan, the founder and executive director of the Queensboro Dance Festival, and Council member Shekar Krishnan, who represents Jackson Heights, were among those in attendance.

“We are so proud and grateful to have reached this 10-year milestone,” Batan said. “We wouldn’t have gotten this far without the support of so many cultural partners and the belief our dance community has in us.”

Performers at a previous festival in front of the Unispehere Flushing Meadows–Corona Park (Photo by Josef Pinlac)

(Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Karesia Batan, the founder of the Queensboro Dance Festival (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Batan, a dancer herself, created her dance group-turned-production company The Physical Plant in 2010 before she established the festival in 2014. Her goal was to give Queens dancers and choreographers an accessible space to learn from each other. The festival has won multiple awards, including being named the Best in Arts & Humanities with the Long Island City Game Changer award in 2019.

She said she hopes the festival will grow even more over the coming years.

“Yet we know there are still more underrepresented Queens dance groups to meet and bring together, and more areas of Queens we can reach,” Batan said.

This year’s festival will kick off with a street takeover event on 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights where attendees will get a chance to see all 25 groups.

There will be a variety of different dance genres at the festival including Yosakoi Japanese dance, house, Bolivian caporales, New York-style salsa, tap, contemporary, Bharatanatyam, Ecuadorian, Afro-Caribbean, Flamenco, hip-hop, ballet and belly dance.

A dancer performing near the Queensboro Bridge (Photo by Josef Pinlac)

There will also be popup events and classes for both families and professionals throughout the summer.

Krishnan said that the festival highlights the cultural diversity of Queens.

“No place on Earth defines diversity quite like Queens, and we must support the cultural events that highlight that diversity,” Krishnan said. “We commend Queensboro Dance Festival for their efforts and persistence in organizing musical and artistic excellence over the last 10 years, and for taking it to the next level this year. Especially in light of the devastating impacts felt in our communities during the pandemic, placing our support behind the festival and our arts is crucial.”

For more information on the festival, follow the Queensboro Dance Festival on Instagram

Tour dates (subject to change)

June 3, 3 p.m. at 34th Ave and Travers Park Jackson Heights (rain date June 10)
June 11, 2 p.m. at 46th Ave Plaza Party at MoMa PS1
June 18, 6 p.m. B21st Plaza Party Far Rockaway
June 23, 5 p.m. Evergreen Park Ridgewood
June 25, 2 p.m. Murray Playground LIC
July 1, 6 p.m. B17th Stage Far Rockaway
July 8, 6 p.m. Windmuller Park Woodside
July 9, 2 p.m. 71st Ave Plaza Party Ridgewood
July 15, 6 p.m. Athens Square Astoria
July 16, 5 p.m. Corona Plaza
July 22,1 p.m. Rufus King Park (Jamfest with Jamaica Performing Arts Center)
July 29, 6 p.m. CultureLab LIC
Aug. 5, 2 p.m. Bliss-Lowery Plaza Parties Sunnyside
Aug. 12, 2 p.m. Sutphin Playground Rochdale Village
Aug. 17, 6 p.m. Forest Park Bandshell
Aug. 19, 6 p.m. Unisphere
Aug. 26, 6 p.m. Gantry Plaza State Park LIC
Aug. 27, 6 p.m. Hunter’s Point South Park LIC
Sept. 2, 6 p.m. Diversity Plaza Jackson Heights
Sept. 3, 6 p.m. Queensbridge Park LIC
Sept. 15-17, (Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun 5 p.m.) Three Night Season Finale at Queens Theatre (*ticketed)

2023 Dance Companies
#Taplife Company (tap dance from Howard Beach)
Ayazamana Dance Group (Ecuadorian folkdance from Long Island City)
barbara mahler’s dances (modern dance from Jackson Heights)
CarNYval Dancers (Afro-Caribbean dance from Jamaica)
Chieh & Yoyo (contemporary dance from Elmhurst)
Cole Collective (tap dance from Astoria)
Cucala Dance Company (NY-Style Salsa from Jamaica)
Drye/Marinaro Dance Company (contemporary fusion from Forest Hills)
Dahyun Kim (contemporary fusion from Long Island City)
Flamenco Latino (Flamenco from Jackson Heights)
Gotham Dance Theater (Street fusion dance from Woodside)
Jiva Dance (Bharatanatyam dance from Long Island City)
Kinding Sindaw (Indigenous Filipino folkdance from Jackson Heights)
Mala’s Odissi (Classical Indian Odissi dance from Forest Hills)
Manhatitlan (Mexican folkdance from Long Island City)
Neela Dance Academy (Classical Indian Kathak dance from Jackson Heights)
Noora Dance Theater (Bellydance from Astoria)
Robert Mark Dance (contemporary from Astoria)
San Simon Sucre NY (Bolivian Caporales dance from Maspeth)
sarAika movement collective (contemporary from Ridgewood)
Sheep Meadow Dance Theatre (ballet from Long Island City)
The Kingdom Dance Company (Hip-hop fusion from Rosedale)
Theo Yang Qu (contemporary from Elmhurst)
Umami Playground Dance Company (House/Street fusion from Long Island City)
Yosakoi Dance Project (Japanese Yosakoi dance from Bayside)

A dancer performing at a previous festival in Long Island City (Photo by Josef Pinlac)

Performers at a previous festival at Sutphin Playground in Rochdale (Photo by Josef Pinlac)

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