Long Island City dance company celebrates 15 years

Photos by Rodney Zagury

Among the galleries, bars, restaurants and theatre spaces, there is one more thing that is bringing culture to LIC — dance.

Celebrating its 15th season as a company, Dance Entropy came to Long Island City in 2005, creating its first permanent home at Green Space on 24th Street.

To celebrate its anniversary, the nonprofit modern dance company is having a special concert, Skimming the Surface: Fragments of Collective Unconscious, from February 21 through 24.

The show, featuring both previously preformed and debut dances, was choreographed by company founder and artistic director Valerie Green.

“We wanted to celebrate this special milestone in Queens, in our home space,” said Green.

According to Green, the action of Skimming the Surface “centers around a table and 24 knives engaged in precarious acts used to skim the emotional, and physical surface in an attempt to reveal a root life altering moment.”

“I think [the show] will challenge what [people] think dance is,” said Green. “Some of the works are very theatrical. Modern dance has a large spectrum of styles and aesthetics. I think the show will be an interesting opportunity to see different dimensions of the modern dance world.”

Before moving to Long Island City, the dance company was renting rehearsal space in different locations.

Though the company, consisting of nine dancers, now has a permanent space, it still, as it always has, performs and teaches in other places around New York City, the U.S. and the world.

Green Space also provides space for others to hold rehearsals, classes and performances.

Green, who has worked in the New York City dance community for over 17 years, moved to Long Island City along with her company and resided there until recently when she moved to Sunnyside.

“I’ve enjoyed living in Queens the best out of everywhere,” said Green. “I like the neighborhood feel and diversity.”

“[Because I built my business here] I really feel ingrained in the community in multiple ways,” she added.

When her dance company first came to Long Island City, said Green, there wasn’t a place like Dance Entropy that was geared towards professionals.

“I could see in 2005 how western Queens was changing, particularly Long Island City, said Green.

“And I thought that it would be a good place to create a home base and allow for a dance venue and the dance community to grow because there was also a need for it in this area.”

Green said there are more dancers and choreographers living in the neighborhood today, but Green Space is still the main dance venue and rehearsal space in the area.

Although there is an interest in dance from locals, the company is still trying to grow its audience.

“We are trying to get the locals to “realize that there is a venue right in their neighborhood that they can walk to and support and see quality professional dance,” said Green.

Preview video of  “Skimming the Surface” (Valerie Green/Dance Entropy via YouTube)