This year’s LaRussa Dance Festival sold out yet again for its 13th annual event featuring young new artists Sunday, June 5, at the LaRussa outdoor stage.
Over 70 people came to appreciate the nine emerging dance companies featured at the festival. The companies included Fivetwo Dance, NSQUARED Dance, Ballaro Dance, Julian Donahue Dance, N/N Dance Collaborative, NewBrese Dance, Julia Antinozzi, Rachel: dancers and Chutzpah Dance.
The festival takes place twice a year in June and October.
Organizer Salvatore LaRussa opened his studio in Middle Village since there was nothing like it in the neighborhood before. LaRussa grew up in Middle Village and said that he always had to travel to Manhattan to find an outlet for his creativity.
“It is a continuing effort to bring amazing new dance companies to the Middle Village and Queens area,” LaRussa said. “The area is lacking in professional arts and dance events. It is always our mission to bring the best of performing arts education to our community.”
This year was special to LaRussa since some of the choreographers were from Hofstra, his alma mater. LaRussa professionally danced for years, working with local Broadway companies and international groups.
“We encourage our students and community to come and see these performances and they all show up and are surprised to see something they have never seen before,” LaRussa said. “It was a really great day. There was really great energy.”
LaRussa also mentioned that with the tragic Texas shooting recently, it was nice to come together for a community event.
The event is sponsored by Councilman Robert Holden, state Senator Joe Addabbo the Queens Council of the Arts and others.
The next event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1. For more information, visit SLDT.org.