An attentive crowd gathered in the back patio of the theatre, located at 66-85 73rd Pl., on June 4 for five diverse pieces put on by artists from around the city.
Salvatore LaRussa, the theatre’s artistic director and choreographer, said the event is a way to bring the arts to the neighborhood and provide an offering for the community.
“The Queens community, it’s an area I feel is lacking in the arts,” LaRussa said. “So we bring this every spring and fall just to get the community together, get all of us together and give dancers opportunities.”
The night’s performances ranged from experimental to classical with a program showcasing solo acts and company pieces, providing an exciting array of entertainment for the audience.
Dancer Dina Denis, who grew up in Middle Village, echoed LaRussa’s sentiments, saying the area needs more accessible dance.
“To bring professional work, to give the community a taste of what people are doing around New York City, I think is a really big deal and it’s a nice opportunity for the audience and us.”
LaRussa based the concept of the festivals on his childhood experiences hosting dance performances in his Middle Village backyard. Now he’s been hosting the events at the theatre for 14 years.
LaRussa Dance Theatre will host its next free outdoor festival in October.