Tag Archives: dance parade

Dancing In the Rain..well almost..

22 May

 

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The 10th annual Dance Parade was spared the heavy rains that arrived later on Saturday. It stayed away long enough for the thousands of dancers to show off their moves to the crowd. This young parade is gaining in popularity as dancers came from all over country and parts of the world to celebrate the most ancient of art forms…dance. This is one of my personal favorites because it’s one of the few parades that brings people together of all cultures and backgrounds and ages to get up and dance. And it doesn’t matter the age. On a few occasions I saw seniors in their 90s dance to the music and kids as young as two trying to find their rhythm. A thing of beauty I tell ya. The parade was delayed slightly because the March Against Monsanto had to pass by the parade route on Broadway and 8th before the dancing started. Back on 22nd St. and Broadway, the buzz was in high gear with lots of dancers getting ready to show off their moves. Once things got started, it was a non-stop party.The parade route turned on 8th St. and  into Tompkins Square Park where there was more dancing on 3 different stages. This years Grand Marshall was an amazing dancer, Kwikstep.   He helped to take break dancing to the next level and helped inspire thousands of dancers to develop new moves and improve their art form.

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The first of many floats arrived with an impressive group of dancers swaying their way down the parade route. The BellyDance America dance group got the crowd really worked up.But they were just warming things up for the high energy San Simon caporales. They always give it their all. A crowd favorite, Danielle Lima and her Samba dancers, always leaves people feeling good. They make you want to join in and have fun. Then the international crowd arrived with groups from Taiwan and Mexico and India showing off their traditional dance moves. They had some amazing costumes. A rather curious group of dancers from the Solstice Tribe  had an original dance that echoed mystery and sensuality. But just as you were being lulled into a sense of serenity, the loud and proud women of Batala woke everyone up with their thunderous drum beats. A good sample of what the parade offers was when the Manhattan Tribal group danced their way the parade route followed by traditional Haitian dancers and the Cobras dance group from Harlem. The best Spanish music representation was from the exciting XDance group. They showed everyone how it’s done as they closed out the parade and asked people to follow them to Tompkins Square Park where the fun and dancing continued. Great job Dance Parade and thanks for honoring Prince on your float.

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Dancing the Day Away on Broadway

17 May
Manhattan Tribal Dancers Working It

Manhattan Tribal Dancers Working It

The young and vibrant Dance Parade celebrated its 9th year on May 16th in festive style with lots of music, costumes, and what else…lots of dancing. It’s the one parade that brings all people of the world together to show off their favorite dance moves. From the sultry and sexy belly dancers to some sizzling samba to some classical ballet, the parade route from 22nd and Broadway to 8th St and Avenue A was filled with lots of high energy and good times. This years Grand Marshall float boasted an eclectic mix of dance icon and actress Carmen de  Lavallade, Alvin Ailey choreographer Robert Battle, DJ Rekha spinning a hot Bhangra mix while some Bhangra dancers got the crowd pumped up for a fun day of dance and sharing.

Grand Marshall Float

Grand Marshall Float

Yes...All Lives Matter

Yes…All Lives Matter

Bhangra Dancers Having Fun

Bhangra Dancers Having Fun

As in most parades in NYC there are always some political or social message helping bring awareness of an issue. The Thriller group which pays tribute to one of the best dancers ever, Michael Jackson, displayed banners reminding us of the value of each and every life. Yes. All lives matter. The first of a group of artists showing the crowd their slow and sensual belly dancing moves were the Pure Onyx Movement. A good pairing were the Samiras School of belly dance and the crowd favorite Manhattan Tribal. One dancer pulled a viewer into the mix and got her to shimmy some. The crowd loved their moves. A new group that got some attention was the Kizomba group with their elegant mix of  tango and bachata and zook. Cultural groups made their presence felt. The group having the most fun was the Brasileirando Samba dance group. They really worked the crowd. Not too far behind them were the Bolivian San Simone Caporales with their shiny costumes and high energy dance moves. NYC has the best nightlife in the country and some of the more popular clubs sent their floats with some crazy costumes and dancers. The Toad, an annual crowd favorite, had some crazy dancers with hula hoops really getting the crowd into it with some club music. A really fun group were the young Broadway Dance Center making up their own dance moves. For a second I was reliving the dance classic movie Fame. I wanna live forever… no matter what age, race or religion…the Dance Parade brings people together to honor and respect the most ancient of art forms…dance.  IMG_8209 IMG_8215 IMG_8218 IMG_8224 IMG_8232 IMG_8238 IMG_8244 IMG_8259 IMG_8263 IMG_8274 IMG_8279 IMG_8286 IMG_8292 IMG_8296 IMG_8298 IMG_8302 IMG_8316 IMG_8320 IMG_8335 IMG_8337 IMG_8348 IMG_8353 IMG_8366 IMG_8372 IMG_8383 IMG_8386 IMG_8395 IMG_8404 IMG_8411 IMG_8423 IMG_8427 IMG_8435

It was a Heck of a Ride...

It was a Heck of a Ride…

Dancing Like It’s the End of the World..almost

29 May

    

 After a week of cloudy raw days the sun broke out for a summer like day of dancing and music and lots of fun by the dancers and viewers alike. Rachel and I made our way from the 6th Ave. food festival over to 21 st. and Broadway where the preparade buzz was kicking higher than the Rockettes during the holidays.  The 5th annual Dance Parade was getting ready to step out onto Broadway and just as stage performers get pumped up to put on a show the energy level was intense everywhere you looked. Only in the greatest city in the world can such a diverse display of culture come together in honor of one of the threads that binds humanity in the art form of dance expression. And right now, there’s one organization that can pull off the event. While all the organizers were in the zone preparing for the event, Rachel met  with Karen Kriegel from the World Dance Initiative while I talked with Jose Rivera of the group Ayazamana. Jose explained the dance the group would perform is the San Juanito,  a folkloric dance of celebration in Ecuador. Colorful costumes were plentiful. Rachel was having a field day taking some great photos but before we knew it parade organizers were calling groups to line up in order as the parade was ready to kick off.

   

     After the Dance Parade banner was proudly displayed by staff members, the first dance company appeared. The Yosokoi Dance Project displayed an unwavering spirit of happiness and hope in the wake of tragic loss of life in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami in March.  The group helped pass the tradition to the youngest performer that was easily a crowd pleaser.  The next notable group was Manhattan Tribal with leader Mimi Fontana. The group spoke the universal language of body talk through hand and body with a captivating appeal that you just didn’t want to end. NYC Bhangra displayed a great rendition of bhangra and bollywood style dances. Without doubt some of the most colorful costumes had to be from the Bolivian Tinkus and San Simon Caporales. Their energetic dance helps preserve Bolivian folklore.  Ayazamana made their appearance with an energetic San Juanito dance.  Closing out the ethnic and cultural representation were the Bomba and Plena of Puerto Rico and Elea Gorana Dance with children doing traditional Bulgarian dances that pleased the crowd.

     The next group of dancers were a combination of fine dance schools from modern to ballet to hip hop to jazz and ballroom to salsa and samba and roller disco and hustle. Many standout dancer groups were Dance New Amsterdam, Neville Dance Theatre, Brasileirando,  New York Chicago Style Steppers, 5 Rhythms, Broadway Bodies, NY Hustle Flash Mob, Dance Manhattan, Fully Focused Dance Troupe and the amazing Body & Pole/Pole Riders making jawdropping splits. A parade just isnt a parade without a marching band and there were two that could have had a good battle. The amazing Kansas City Marching Falcons Drill team brought their A game in dance and instruments. Not to be outdone was the local Medgar Evers College Prep Marching Band with a loud and proud brass section. One group of lovely ladies that became a crowd favorite were the roller disco Sisters in Motion in their snazzy turquoise outfits. Shortly behind them was the outdoor rapture party dancing to house music. Hundreds of dancers partied like it was their last day. All kinds of outrageous costumes and floats including the magic toad, a crazy disco float and the Pacha float that closed out the parade as everyone danced over to Tompkins Square Park with their hands raised in the air.

     On our way to the park for the DanceFest, a few buses were parked just outside the park on 10th St. Rachel and I noticed the bus had its luggage compartment open and resting were some of the Bolivian dancers drenched in sweat. They gave it their all and left it on the parade route as did most of the dancers.  The DanceFest showcases some great dance talent on three stages throughout the park. Free dance lessons were offered to anyone that wanted to pick up a new step or two. Rachel and I agreed the parade had an uplifting and joyful feel to it and in some ways was a combination of the Mermaid and West Indian parades. We certainly hope this young and one of a kind parade becomes as popular as those city favorites.      Congrats DanceParade… Job well done.

         

Next Parades:

Turkish Parade Saturday May 28th Madison Ave and 51th st. at 11am.

Haitian Parade- Sunday May 29th Nostrand Ave and Linden Aves Brooklyn at 11am

Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade – Monday May 30th Northern Blvd and Jayson St,  Great Neck Queens 2pm 

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