Astoria dance company names new leader while opening new home in Kaufman Arts District

Courtesy RIOULT Dance NY

An Astoria-based dance company has a new leader to go with their new home.

RIOULT Dance NY appointed Jane Penn as the company’s executive director, which coincides with the opening of its 11,000 square foot facility.

The RIOULT Dance Center, located at 34-01 Steinway St., houses the professional dance company and serves the broader arts community.

“On behalf of the board, it is with great pleasure that we announce Jane Penn as the executive director for RIOULT Dance NY,” said Hope Greenfield, chair of the Board of Directors of RIOULT. “As a former dancer and longtime member of the dance community, she brings a vast amount of understanding to her role. We are so delighted to have her driving the development of our new dance center and partnering with us to shape the future of RIOULT.”

Founded in 1994, RIOULT Dance NY is dedicated to fostering a new generation of modern dance enthusiasts through the creation and presentation of dance works by choreographer and artistic director Pascal Rioult. The company has performed in theaters and festivals throughout North America.

“I am so thrilled to welcome Jane to the RIOULT organization at a pivotal moment in our history,” Rioult said. “It is an ambitious undertaking in this day and age, and I am glad to have found an ambitious and accomplished partner with whom to build the future.”

Penn began her early years training as a dancer at The School of American Ballet and later at the Joffrey Ballet School. After an injury sidelined her career on stage, she transferred her passion into arts management working in the not-for-profit sector for more than 25 years.

On the eve of its 25th anniversary, RIOULT Dance NY was given the keys to its first-ever home in the Astoria Arts District which currently includes more than 30 arts and culture spaces including the Museum of the Moving Image, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and Kaufman Astoria Studios. RIOULT Dance NY is the first established dance company to take up residence within the Kaufman Arts District.

“The newly-built Dance Center is at the heart of what I love as an arts professional, providing working artists with the resources they need to create and building space for bold voices, new ideas and a strong sense of community,” Penn said. “We are so fortunate to call Astoria home. There is a vibrancy and authenticity in the neighborhood that begs for a creative enterprise such as ours.”

The RIOULT Dance Center is dedicated to community-based arts programming: providing a permanent home base for the dance company; an educational resource for the local community in western Queens; and a creative hub for the larger New York City dance community. For more information visit their website here.

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