Watch experimental art on a stage made of sand with a backdrop of waves and clouds.

The Beach Sessions Dance Series will return to Rockaway for its third season over the final two Saturdays in August. Attendance is free, and since everything will unfold near the shore, attendees will be able to watch from all sides.

Jodi Melnick, a former Guggenheim fellow, and Jon Kinzel, a Lincoln Center Education faculty member, will deliver “At Night,” a meditation on nature on the sand off Beach 86th Street on Aug. 19, starting around 6 p.m. Both are long-time solo artists, but they will combine movements they created in darkness to offer a program in broad day sunlight as the beach’s natural volatility disrupts and/or strengthens their flow.

For the night’s second act, two performers have been studying the movements of various music legends, including Mick Jagger and Beyoncé. They will attempt to reproduce, mimic, and mock these idiosyncrasies while also channeling their own divine/charismatic powers and exploring society’s obsession with entertainment, youth, and holiness. The piece is entitled “Fun Young God,” but the dancers are demanding anonymity as a comment on the intangibility of celebrity and faith.

(Hint: One artist has a background in ballet. The other studied Balinese dance in Indonesia.)

The final show is scheduled for the sand near Beach 110th Street on Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. Madeline Hollander, who just finished a fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park on the other side of the borough in Long Island City, will present “Arena,” a series of duets with beach rakes and six dancers. The rakes will clear pathways that become the stage for the artists, whose tracks will be recorded in the newly combed sand. In the first half, dancers will follow in the wake of the rakes, but things will flip during the second half as the rakes follow the dancers, erasing their traces of movement as they go.

Images: Elizabeth Holzer and Samantha Casolari for Beach Sessions Dance Series


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There’s still time to enjoy some fantastic outdoor events in Queens before summer ends
There’s still time to enjoy some fantastic outdoor events in Queens before summer ends

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