Site-specific dance festival with a social mission returns to Long Island City waterfront

Hivewild at INSITU 2017
Photos by Javier Gamboa

The INSITU Site-Specific Dance Festival returns to four parks on the Long Island City waterfront next month.

For the second year in a row, dance enthusiasts can enjoy this free, two-day exhibition, where dancers will be showcasing contemporary and urban dance choreography while advancing INSITU’s social mission.

On Aug. 4-5, the LIC waterfront will be transformed into a giant stage. Performances will take place at Hunters Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queensbridge Park and Socrates Sculpture Park from 1 to 8 p.m. on both days.

This year, INSITU will feature 20 new commissioned works that have been created by regional, national and international choreographers. The works were chosen out of a pool of over 200 applicants and feature site-specific works by Douglas Dunn (NYC), Chantal Caron/Fleuve Espace danse (Canada), Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow (Los Angeles) and Alice Gosti (Seattle).

Performances will be organized into four “performance rounds” per day, which will take place at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in each of the four parks. There will be a total of 144 performances during the festival, adding up to 32 hours of dance. Each performance will last approximately 75 minutes.

INSITU was inspired by the natural and urban landscapes of the four public parks and performers will maneuver through playgrounds, benches, piers, staircases and shorelines, while leading audiences through continuous and dynamic dance performances.

Melissa Riker_Kinesis Project dance theatre at INSITU 2017

Audiences will also get the chance to participate in 20-minute workshops with choreographers from last year’s festival following the first three performance rounds. The participating choreographers are Melissa Riker/Kinesis Project dance theatre, JoAnna Mendl Shaw/The Equus Projects, Christopher Nunez, and Cecelia Fontanesi/Parcon NYC.

The festival was founded by Svea Schneider, a dance artist, choreographer and dance educator. According to her, the mission of the INSITU is to “activate public spaces through dance, spark dialogue and create community through the arts.”

In addition to that mission, Schneider said that an important goal for INSITU is to connect two LIC communities that have been separated by several new developments.

“An important goal of INSITU is to bridge the gap between two disparate LIC communities that are physically and often psychologically separated by the Queensboro Bridge, new developments like Hunter’s Point and Court Square on the south side of the bridge, and Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing community in North America, on the north side of the bridge,” Schneider said.

For more information on INSITU, visit insitudancefestival.com.