RED HOOK INITIATIVE (1993-2010): the 18-year Red Hook Initiative served residents of the Red Hook Houses—one of the largest public housing projects in the country—with educational and community programs, youth festivals, and large-scale community-based, site-specific productions by Martha Bowers and Joanna Haigood. All of Dancing in the Streets’ programs in Red Hook were produced in collaboration with Red Hook cultural, educational and community organizations.
PICTURE RED HOOK BROOKLYN / Former Port Authority Grain Terminal, Red Hook (2002): an interdisciplinary work by Joanna Haigood, Mary Ellen Strom, and Lauren Weinger. On a massive grain terminal, aerial dancers interacted with 100-foot high video images of current and historic images of Red Hook’s people and places. “Ms. Haigood distilled history in this visually dazzling piece, with love and sadness.” The New York Times
BREAKING GROUND – A DANCE CHARRETTE (2005, 2006, 2008): for each of the series’ three seasons, five choreographers created five five-minute works in five days for compelling historic NYC sites that were revealed to them on the first day of rehearsal. Artistic Director: Joanna Haigood. Choreographers/Sites: Jonah Bokaer, Tania Isaac, Stephan Koplowitz, Gus Solomons jr, and Nami Yamamoto / Hangar B at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn (2008); Douglas Dunn, Noémie Lafrance, Elizabeth Streb, Reggie Wilson, and Yasuko Yokoshi / Fort Jay on Governors Island (2006); Ann Carlson, Eiko & Koma, Larry Keigwin, Tere O’Connor, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar / Tobacco Warehouse, DUMBO, Brooklyn (2005). “BREAKING GROUND – A Dance Charrette raised the bar for site-specific dance in this city.” Gay City News
THE GRAND STEP PROJECT / Six Grand Staircases in Manhattan, Brooklyn & the Bronx (2004): 50 dancers—performing to an original score by Quentin Chiappetta—articulated the forms and rhythmic patterns of six grand staircases in a site-adaptive work by Stephan Koplowitz.
OFFERING / Multiple Manhattan Sites (2002,2003): Eiko & Koma’s elegy to a wounded city in the form of a performance installation that traveled to New York City parks, plazas, courtyards, and gardens. At the opening night performance at Battery Park Plaza near Ground Zero, the work “gained special poignancy….and suggested that healing can be possible.” The New York Times
DANCES FOR WAVE HILL (1991-2001): for 11 summers, Wave Hill’s lush gardens served as a laboratory for over 100 choreographers, including Ron Brown, Yasmeen Godder, Zvi Gotheiner, John Jaspers, Bebe Miller, Wendy Perron, Sarah Rudner, Muna Tseng, and Sara Pearson & Patrik Widrig.
NIGHT LIGHT / Chelsea (2000): a walking tour by Ann Carlson through the streets of Chelsea, focusing on tableaux vivant, which recreated historical photos in the sites where they had been taken.
AMERICAN ARCHEOLOGY / Roosevelt Island (1994):“The geographical setting for Meredith Monk’s impressive new multimedia production was Roosevelt Island, a strip of land in the East River. But spiritually, this two-part work took place at the intersection of past and present.” The New York Times
RAT-A-TAT-TAP: A FESTIVAL OF PERCUSSIVE MUSIC AND DANCE (1994): “Honi” Coles, Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Sandman Sims, Christopher Janney, and Tan Dun at the U.S. Customs House, The New York Botanical Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Socrates Sculpture Garden, and the Apollo Theater. “A brilliant pyrotechnical display of tap dancing.” The New York Times
GRAND CENTRAL DANCES / Grand Central Terminal (1987): a two-day festival featuring performances by Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Molissa Fenley, Philippe Petit, as well as the world premiere of Fenestrations, a site-specific work by Stephan Koplowitz that was performed in Grand Central’s giant window. “FANTASTIC…A mammoth multimedia dance event staged in the nooks and crannies of Grand Central Terminal…will certainly remain a night to remember….Thousands of onlookers, mainly young…The crowd went wild.” The New York Times
BROOKLYN BRIDGE DANCE FESTIVAL / Brooklyn Bridge (1983): 250 dancers danced across the Brooklyn Bridge celebrating its centennial year. The popular and critical response to the festival inspired its producer, Elise Bernhardt, to establish Dancing in the Streets as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing free dance performances in unexpected public spaces.
THE BRONX REVOLUTION AND THE BIRTH OF HIP HOP / Casita Maria (2013): a multimedia work created and directed by Joanna Haigood in collaboration with hip hop pioneers—
DJ GrandWizzard Theodore, photographer Joe Conzo Jr.,
M.C. Grandmaster Caz, graffiti artist BG183 of Tats Cru, and
Click here for photos of The Bronx Revolution and the Birth of Hip Hop!
PASEO / Streets of Hunts Points & Longwood, the Bronx (2012): a roving site-specific performance by choreographer Joanna Haigood and music director Bobby Sanabria that celebrated the Hunts Point and Longwood sections of the South Bronx and their astounding contribution to Latin music.
Learn more about Paseo!
Click here for photos of Paseo!
THE SOUTH BRONX CULTURE TRAIL is a collaborative initiative of Dancing in the Streets and Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education. Advisory Council: Arthur Aviles, Tina Ramírez, Bill Aguado, Alex Aponte, Anna Arraya Colon, Antonio Sergio Bessa, BG183 (Tats Cru), Benny Bonilla, Américo Casiano, Alvan Colon Lespier, Marcos A. Crespo, Robert Crespo, Elizabeth Figueroa, Ricky Flores, GrandWizzard Theodore Livingston, Elena Martínez, Jorge Popmaster Fabel Pabon, Al Quiñones, Angel Rodriguez, Rosalba Rolón, Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Bobby Sanabria, Robert Sancho, Lisa A. Sorin, Eric Soto and Dave Valentin.
HIP HOP GENERATION NEXT (2007-Present) was launched in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and has since branched out to Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The multidisciplinary series honors and promotes the Bronx roots and global evolution of hip hop culture through site-specific and multidisciplinary performances, block parties, international dance competitions, films, panel discussions, and ciphers (freestyle dance circles); and has featured hundreds of hip hop artists, including legendary pioneers and four generations of artists from New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago, South Korea, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Germany, Brazil, and Siberia. Series highlights:
STEPYAGAMEUP / Casita Maria (2011-Present): elite hip hop dancers from all over the world converge at this international dance competition organized by Emilio “Buddha Stretch” Austin Jr. and judged by legendary hip hop dancers.
BREAKIN’ CONVENTION / The Apollo Theater (2013): as audience members entered the lobby of the Apollo Theater they were enveloped by hip hop dancers Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Kevin “Tech” Bradford, Valerie “Ms. Vee” Ho, Alaine “Hurrikane” Lauture, Dister Rondon, and Yuko “Uko Snowbunny” Tanaka in a site-specific dance choreographed by Asherie, Ho, Tanaka and Gus Solomons jr. Breakin’ Convention is a Sadler’s Wells Project curated and hosted by Jonzi D.
HIP HOP KUNG FU / Asia Society & Casita Maria (2011): an interdisciplinary work by Emilio “Buddha Stretch” Austin Jr in collaboration with Adesola Osakalumi, Michele Byrd McPhee, and Valerie "Ms Vee" Ho that explored the reciprocal influences of Asian martial arts and hip hop cultures on one another by juxtaposing hip hop dance with Wushu, Tai Chi, and Taiko.
CENTRIFUGAL FORCE / Lincoln Center Out of Doors (2010): 50 dancer led the audience through Lincoln Center’s public plazas in a site-specific work choreographed by Emilio “Buddha Stretch” Austin Jr, Adesola Osakalumi and Gus Solomons jr. The work “played formality against unpretentious raw power.” The New York Times
HIP HOP GENERATION NEXT Artistic Advisors: Brandon “Peace” Albright, Emilio “Buddha Stretch” Austin Jr., Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, and Adesola Osakalumi.
BG183 in The Bronx Revolution and the Birth of Hip Hop directed by Joanna Haigood
Photo: Joe Conzo
Picture Red Hook by Joanna Haigood
Photo: Teddy Maki
Breaking Ground, Fort Jay, Governors Island, Invasion by Noémie Lafrance. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
Danza Fiesta in Paseo
Photo: Nabil Rhaman
Eiko & Koma in Offering in Battery Park City Park
Photo: Tom Brazil
The Grand Step Project by Stephan Koplowitz
Photo: Julie Lemberger
Jogja Hip Hop Foundation in the South Bronx
Photo: Alan Watson
Photo: Monica Chang
THE SOUTH BRONX CULTURE TRAIL (2012-Present) engages artists, scholars, and community members in developing a physical and virtual trail comprised of sites that played a significant role in spawning the rich cultural history of the South Bronx. The initiative includes public performances, exhibitions, dance parties, the gathering and
dissemination of oral histories, a website, guided tours of the Culture Trail, and two original productions by Joanna Haigood in collaboration with Bronx-based artists.
Learn more about the South Bronx Culture Trail!