Dancers warming up behind the stage
As I entered Stuyvesant Cove Park early this evening, I kept my eyes peeled for a large stage and crowds of people who I assumed would be attending the Solar-Powered Dance Series, presented by Solar One, a green energy, arts, and education center. But around 6 PM, it was quiet, with no crowds in site. I was rather underwhelmed when I finally arrived at a tiny stage – more like a deck or platform – in front of which approximately thirty people were waiting for the performance to begin. This was disappointing when I reflected on the several hundreds of people who came out for last weekend’s dance performance at Central Park SummerStage. There are a number of possible reasons why there were so few people at the Solar-Powered Dance Series: 6 PM on a weeknight isn’t convenient for working parents or for those who want to catch up with friends over happy hour, and Stuyvesant Cove Park – at 23rd Street along the East River – is not a centralized nor easily accessible location. But the first thing that popped into my head was that there must not have been enough publicity and effective marketing for the event. I don’t recall seeing any online or print ads for it and nothing about it on dance or environmental websites (I learned about the event from Solar One’s website, which I stumbled across several months ago while doing some environmental research for my job). So I imagine that with better publicity, there would have been a stronger turnout.
The meager crowd and the little solar-paneled stage
Although the stage – made out of recycled materials – was definitely small, it was impressive to see the slanted roof covered in solar panels, which generated all of the electricity used for the audio components of the performance. Additionally, I commend the dancers for adapting so well to the limited space. The six pieces on the program by emerging choreographers all had moments that held my interest, but overall, they felt and looked more like works in progress. This is certainly not a negative comment, but rather, an observation about the potential I see in each piece and an opportunity for the choreographers to more deeply explore what is – and isn’t – being conveyed in their work. Here are a few photographs from the performance. There will be repeat performances on August 1st and 2nd at 6 PM. Click here for more information.
Dancers in Kirstin Kapustik’s Within the Masses, music by Modest Mouse
Dancers in Jamie Chandler’s The Space Between, music by Philip Glass
Redwall Dance Theatre in the quirky and cynical Graceless, music by Elvis Presley