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"Wien" photo by Eric Bandiero
"Wien" photo by Eric Bandiero

A world-famous company is about to relocate from Manhattan to Queens. And as part of the celebration, it will offer a trio of special performances in the borough this weekend.

Rioult Dance NY will take the stage at Queens Theatre on Saturday, March 3, at 2 and 8 p.m., and again on Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m.

Pascal Rioult, a track-and-field star in his native France, moved to the United States to study modern dance as part of a fellowship from the French Ministry of Culture in 1981. He ended up as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company before founding his own troupe in Manhattan in 1994. From then on, he forged a reputation as a leader in the Neo-Modern genre with a style that blends classical dance structures with a sensual, articulate style and a strong musical presence.

This weekend’s eclectic program includes three pieces: “Te Deum,” one of Rioult’s earliest works; “Wien,” a high-energy portrayal of a decaying society that relates to modern life; and “Dream Suite,” which was inspired by the surreal world of Marc Chagall, the prolific 19th-century European painter who figured heavily in modernism, cubism and expressionism.

Ticket prices run from $20 to $42.

Following the Sunday matinee, the audience will be able to meet and chat with Rioult and his dancers during a free reception in the lobby. There will be a welcome toast as the entity is currently in the process of creating and moving to “Rioult Dance Center,” a studio-and-performance space at 34-01 Steinway St. in Astoria.

The repertory will continue touring nationally and internationally, but it will also offer on-site classes and workshops at the new facility and conduct extensive in-school arts education and community outreach programs.

Said the founder: “I see the Rioult Dance Center becoming a destination of endless possibility and enrichment for communities in Queens.”

Queens Theatre is located at 14 United Nations Ave. S. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Images provided by Rioult Dance NY

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