By Lucy Torres
Hungry for an arts fix without venturing into the city? Then make sure to take a big bite out of this year’s installment of Long Island City’s very own Green Space Blooms, a sixâˆ’day dance and music festival spread over two weekends from April 24 to May 3
Launched by Valerie Greenâ„Dance Entropy in April 2007, the Blooms festival is sure to whet the appetite with an amazing set of performances that will leave audiences wanting seconds and thirds. Perhaps even asking for a leftover or two.
Kicking off the event is Valerie Greenâ„Dance Entropy, founded in 1998 by Valerie Green, a native of Cleveland, Ohio. Yet this Green Space dance group is no mere seedling. Green, 36, first made her way to New York in 1995 to join the Erick Hawkins Dance Company after receiving a degree in dance at the University of Wisconsin. In 1998, Green founded Dance Entropy and unveiled its new abode in 2005 in the restored silk factory it now calls home.
What a home it is. The third floor studio offers a spectacular view of Manhattan, with the inspiring backdrop of the Queensborough Bridge enhancing the 1,200âˆ’squareâˆ’foot studio’s textured brick walls, wooden floors and exposed piping.
But most notable of all are the performances held within this artistic space. One of the many pieces to be showcased during Green Space Blooms is Green’s “Twilight,” which uses Belgian singer Adamo’s music to create a surreal, enchanting ambiance.
What drew Green to work on this piece was the inspiration dusk brings about in the imagination.
“Twilight is that time of night that things don’t make sense,” Green said, “a time when things are illâˆ’defined.”
Originally a solo piece, her idea later was expanded to three dancers and now a set of eight present the revamped work, with a second addition to the act that enhances the dreamlike performance. Oftentimes, through the repetition of a piece, Green said she is able to capture new things in it that can be expanded or explored. The process of creation, for Green, is “pretty organic.”
Organic is one of the many adjectives to describe the work she puts together in her flawlessly choreographed dance sets. Entropy dancers exert an incredible agility in every sweeping motion of direction. Every movement in Green’s carefully crafted work is marked with soft, nimble steps and inspired patterns with rhythm.
Pain and tragedy are all offered in sensual motions of the body that stir a variety of sentiment. The use of silence, ambient music and props carefully illustrate a particular feeling, making each movement one of continued suspense and enlightenment.
Green said she expects turnout for the festival’s third incarnation to be larger than during last year’s festival run.
“It’s expanding,” Entropy dancer Ashlea Palafox said. Palafox, who moved to New York from Texas to pursue dance with Green in 2007, has been able to experience the growing phenomenon of the Queensâˆ’run production. “It gets bigger every year.”
Dancer Jen Painter, originally from south Florida, agrees. “It’s a good energy.” Painter said. “It adds to the adrenaline and it’s nice to see people supporting the performing arts.”
Whipped up to a masterfully created series of dances, Green Space Blooms is sure to hit this season’s art scene full force. Every step is visibly constructed with love and dedication, and this shines through every second of Green’s work.
“I’ve never put something on stage I’m not excited about.” Green said proudly, overlooking the beautiful view of the city from her studio.
Make sure to make your way to Green Space and taste the many flavors of Green Space Blooms, it is guaranteed to be delightful down to the last crumb.
If you go
Green Space Blooms
Where: Green Space Studios, 37âˆ’24 24th St., #301, Long Island City
Cost: $20; $15 students, seniors & dancers
April 24, 8 p.m.: Brice Mousset, Laurie M.Taylorâ„Soul Movement, Mayuna Shimizu, Valerie Greenâ„Dance Entropy
April 25, 8 p.m.: Emily Berryâ„B3W, BRAT, Danielle Russo Dance Company, Kerry MacDonald, Katherine Richardson, Rebecca Stronger â„ STRONGERCircus, Valerie Greenâ„Dance Entropy
April 26, 8 p.m.: Amanda Brewster, Suttlar Martinâ„ 4THRIGHTDANCE, Matthew Westerby, Valerie Greenâ„Dance Entropy
May 1, 8 p.m.: Natalie Desch, Daniella Hoff Dance Company, Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theatre
May 2, 8 p.m.: Kristin Dexnisâ„DeXdance, Theresa Duhon, KristiAnne Francis, Catey Ott Dance Collective, SEEN PERFORMANCE, Amanda Selgrath