The Dance Cartel at The Downtown Dinner 2016 @ Conrad Hotel NYC
Photo Credit: Shulamit Seidler-Feller

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) is thrilled to welcome back The Dance Cartel as part of the 16th annual River To River Festival, downtown New York City’s completely free summer arts festival, running now through June 25th.

The 2017 edition presents an array of performances and events exploring and celebrating diversity in all its forms — often blurring the lines between genres, including dance, music, theater, and the visual arts — over the course of 100+ performances and events spanning 17 projects at 31 unique sites across lower Manhattan and Governors Island. The festival also offers opportunities for audiences to interact with artists, socialize, and experience multiple facets of artists’ work and the creative process. River To River 2017 celebrates New York City’s status as a cultural capital of the world and a crossroads for residents and visitors of diverse origins, traditions and perspectives. It embraces the values of an interdependent, global city in which all are welcome and encouraged to participate in the free exchange of ideas. This year, LMCC dedicates the festival to the memories of two shining examples of such principles: Trisha Brown and David Rockefeller.

Highlights include:

  • R2R Living Rooms by The Dance Cartel at Pier A Harbor House
  • Kamau Ware’s Black Gotham Experience
  • The Set Up: Island Ghost Sleep Princess Time Story Show, a new performance retrospective of Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey
  • Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s A Supple Perimeter at LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island
  • En Garde Arts’ music and dance spectacle, Harbored, co-commissioned by Arts Brookfield and theLower Manhattan Cultural Council for the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, weaving together stories from the last two centuries of immigration in the U.S.
  • A broad range of both new and recent dance pieces — in unexpected locations — from a host of notable choreographers and dancers: Faye Driscoll, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Beth Gill, Maria Hassabi, Jodi Melnick and Netta Yerushalmy
  • Open Studios with LMCC artists-in-residence in the Arts Center at Governors Island; Acclaimed composer and trumpeter Amir ElSaffar and his Rivers of Sound orchestra; Excerpts from Joshua Frankel, Judd Greenstein, Will Rawls and Tracy K. Smith’s multimedia opera about the battle between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, A Marvelous Order.

The Dance Cartel at River to River Festival’s R2R Living Room @ Pier A Harbor House NYC Photo Credit: Ornella Friggit

From Ani Taj, of The Dance Cartel:

We’re lucky to be building a long-term relationship with LMCC, because we have a fair amount of overlapping interests and goals – long walks on the beach, impulsive travel, handcrafted cocktails… I mean, creating platforms for art and dance to happen in unexpected settings, making it broadly accessible to the general public, and revitalizing urban spaces that tap new audiences. In all seriousness, it has been really special to watch our relationship unfold through various stages and different forms of collaboration – all bound together by that shared mission.

The first date, as it were, was LMCC’s support of TDC’s first touring project, Adaptable Dances, which is what it sounds like: we adapted and scaled a repertory of material from our home show, ONTHEFLOOR, to a dozen different venues ranging from galleries to public parks to music venues to museums. We like watching what happens to these dances when they are infused with a different architecture, a new audience, the variable of unassuming passersby. There is a unique chemistry to each of those interactions, which opens up the interpretation and vibe of the material even as it helps us to strengthen what is integral to it, at its core, as the company performing it.

Since then we’ve party-crashed LMCC’s gala, begun building a new drive-in dance experience (stay tuned for that in fall!) with their support, and now here we are installed in their Living Room Series for R2R. These give us another neat opportunity to hack a public space, bringing a targeted dance audience together with, well, whoever happens to be out in the street as we descend upon the plaza at Pier A. That happening then converges into a social performance in the upstairs event space featuring Litewall, an interactive light installation by Joe Cantalupo and Dave Tennent, DJ sets by DJ Average Jo and performances from Zuzuka Poderosa, Adira Amram & The Experience, House of Olympus and Jay Boogie. Hopefully all this surprises you into becoming part of the dance landscape and, by extension, The Dance Cartel.

    River to River Festival: 2017

    Governors Island


    Wed, Jun 14, 2017 - Sun, Jun 25, 2017

    This year's River to River Festival presents 12 days of dance, music, theater and the visual arts — 100 + performances and events spanning 17 projects at 31 unique sites across Lower Manhattan and Governors Island. The Festival also offers opportunities for audiences to interact with artists, socialize and experience multiple facets of artists’ work and the creative process.