Archive for the ‘Greenwich Village’ category

Dance Parade 2008 in New York City – Part 1

May 18, 2008

Oddly enough, or perhaps it is to be expected, NYC has a parade dedicated just to dance. Take your pick of the dance style. I didn’t note any minuet, but I think I saw variations on just about everything else. Well, come to think of it; no square dance section, either. Man! I wuz robbed!

The parade had perhaps the weirdest route I’ve ever seen for a parade. It started up on 31st Street heading south on Broadway; then it cut over to University (just north of Union Square); and then hung a left on 8th Street to end in Tompkins Square Park. Well, at least that’s what I heard. I stayed around 10th and University for the whole parade. And it did last quite a while. I think I’m gonna get about three posts from it.

And, now, on with the first post.

The parade started at 1pm, but we didn’t see anything in the Village where I was standing until about 1:40. They may dance hard, but they parade slow.

The parade was eclectic to say the least. It had a lot of international dance, but it seemed mostly to consist of dance companies. And not a single marching band! Not one! Where was Mother Cabrini’s? Where was a dancing marching band? Nevertheless, it was a highly enjoyable parade and the dancers were almost all having a grand time entertaining us and each other.

First up, some sort of Caribbean dancers.  Or were they just belly dancers?  Caribbean belly dancers?

But to be honest, the real stars of this group were the musicians. The dancers were fine; the musicians were great.

The musicians were followed by more dancers, whom I presume were associated with the music. I don’t know it, but I’m guessing. This parade was actually pretty bad in detailing who was who. The two dancers at the back of the below photo were actually very, very good. I thought I had a better picture of them, but no go…

Then a group called Pure followed. A really nice little show where they did mostly, I guess, what is considered an interpretive dance of some sort.

Looking at the picture below, all I can think of is how it’d look from a June Taylor dance perspective. (For those of you who aren’t old fogeys, that’s a group that would dance on the Jackie Gleason show and their gimmick was the filming of the group from above.)

A group called ASAmed followed. Well, they did. I think the picture below was part of their group, but the formal group follows in the next picture. The group was middle eastern and was primarily more in the belly dancing style.  (CORRECTION:  reader Debbie Lakis sent in a comment that the below group is called “Manhattan Tribal”.  Thanks!)

Here’s the ASAmed group, at least where they were clearly identified. I really regret that my photos don’t capture the actual movement of the dancers. When you see the dancers with their hands out, don’t even think they were posing. These ladies were dancing up a storm.

All I can say about the below picture is that this dancer was following a Mexican float/bus of some sort. I cannot place the outfit into any sort of mental category in my head.

I really loved the Korean Institute of NY’s display. They actually had a number of dancers and everyone was about as colorful as you could hope for. The picture below captures my best moment of watching them. In the others, they are a lot more scattered and you can’t really catch the movement and the impact. Or, at least I can’t.

This was a group of Polish dancers. Probably. They had a flag that I think was the Polish flag (red and black, double-headed eagle).

Here’s the start of what I considered the best part of the parade (out of a pretty good parade). The Bolivian dancers were intent. Wow, oh wow; they were intent! The young lady at the center of the picture was utterly consumed with the passion of her dancing. It was almost scary. They stopped for a moment and all of the ladies crouched (well, there were some guys, too). Then, all at once they popped up and started dancing again. And this young lady wasn’t going to let anything make her miss her cue. It was just the look in her eye and the way she just wouldn’t let up glancing at the others to make sure that she and they were all in sync. Very fun, at least for me.

And it was fun for this woman, too. She just had the biggest smile.

The more “interpretive” or modern or contemporary or whatever-ya-wanna-call-it style then seemed to take over. I never again saw the passion and the communal action that the Bolivians had. The rest was fine, but perhaps just a little too laid back to stand close comparison with the Bolivians. The next picture was of a group called “Contemporary Dance Theatre”. They were way too laid back to follow up on the Bolivians. And they either knew it and didn’t try or they thought they were too cool to be as energetic. This is one of the few moments that they were dancing when they walked by me. That isn’t to say they weren’t big on dancing in other places; all I’m saying is that you couldn’t prove it from what I saw.

The East Village Dance Project followed. They had some interesting stuff, but there was still something of a vacuum from the passing of the Bolivians. Of course, these were mostly kids and probably shouldn’t be compared to the others, anyway.

Now, the Neville Dance Theatre did start to bring back some life. They weren’t as numerous or as passionate as the Bolivians, but they were very, very good.

As you might expect, I did enjoy the moments above and below. The dancers were having fun and enjoyed having their pictures taken. Thank you.

The Amy Marshall Dance Company was pretty good. I got a number of shots of them, but I just don’t think I captured their energy. In the picture below, you can see some of the high kicking going on in the background, but it was a bit spread too out for me to really capture.

A lot of the dancers were very young and were very bendable.

The next group that came was, I think, something about “Luigi’s Jazz”. At least, that’s what was on the back of the guy in the stilts. Maybe that’s Luigi in the back of the car. No other sign of who they were.

That’s the end of my first post on the parade (I think it may end up as three posts). There were a bunch of great moments during the parade and I hope to point out the rest of them. It was a nice day and a nice parade with some good music and no really bad music. There were a lot of dancers out there to strut their stuff and a number of oddballs who wanted to show how odd they were. There were even, strange as it seems, some political aspects to the parade, but not in the manner you might think. I’ll cover it in tomorrow’s post, but I honestly don’t know if they were just pulling a scam (probably) or making a point (seemingly a really minor point, if so).

But you have to wait to see that.


Tribeca Film Festival…In The East Village

May 1, 2008

On Saturday, I did some wandering around the East Village area and, while on my way toward Union Square, ran into the Tribeca Film Festival.  (Simple NYC geography lesson:  Tribeca lies about 20 blocks south of Union Square which is a long, long ways in NYC.)

Well, it is part of the Festival, but you have to remember that it has grown tremendously and they apparently just scoop up every theater they can find to do some of their screenings. I was there around 1:30 or so and a line or six were starting to form up.

To be honest, I didn’t know any of the shows they were planning to screen. At 2:30, they were showing “I Am Because We Are”. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s great. But Rene Decartes would probably find some way to improve the logic.

At 3:30, they were showing “Charley”. There were actually two lines for that show (lines “2” above and “C” below), but maybe not that showing. I presume one line was for voters/writers/critics/filmmakers and the other line was for the ordinary folks. Actually, there were also two lines for “I Am Because We Are”, but line “B” was empty. (A closer look at the pictures has the bigger line for “Ticket Holders and Badge Holders” and the other line for “Rush Tickets”. That’s about what I was expecting.)

It’s interesting to see such events and have the opportunity to go just because I’m walking by. I guess I should be a bit abashed for talking about it without trying it out. But I don’t think I’ve gone to a movie for a year and going to one in the hopes of seeing a great film seems like a poor reason to break that streak.


The Church of St. Veronica in Greenwich Village

April 15, 2008

In a recent trip down in Greenwich Village, I ran into the very imposing Church of St. Veronica.


It’s Roman Catholic and has been around since 1886 (or is it 1887, as they have both dates in different places).  It’s located on Christopher Street, just off Greenwich Street.


Morton Street in Greenwich Village

April 8, 2008

Just a few pictures of a really attractive street in NYC, Morton Street in Greenwich Village.


I was wandering around Greenwich Village a little while ago and just really liked this street.  It’s very much what I like to find when I go through the West Village.


I’m glad I caught it at this time, once the trees bud, it’ll look even better, but only in a close-up sense.  That is, it wouldn’t be something that I, amateur photog, could capture properly.


Think Tank 3 in Greenwich Village

April 5, 2008

This is sort of a bit o’ nonsense post as it just shows the front of a store that I found mildly interesting.

The place is called Think Tank 3.  It seems to model itself as a new type of advertising agency.


The sign to the left describes the place.  It says “Think Tank 3 is A MODERN DAY THINK SHOP; our idea of what a modern ad agency should be.  We work with a range of clients including Comedy Central and Coca Cola.  From  time to time our creative director also curates exhibits based on cultural relevance, historical value, and quality.  Recently we hosted a reading of Sam Shepard’s A LIE OF THE MIND, directed by Ethan Hawke.  Some of the pieces you see represent our last four exhibits and if you’re interested in the art or the artists we can connect some dots for you.  The exhibits were:  FOUND SOUND by Gaines, THOUGHT FOR FOOD by Ilana Simons, JEWISH BOXERS by Charles Miller, and SADDAM MANIA by Teun Voeten.  Try the door, and if its unlocked come on in.  Some things are for sale and some things are not.  Don’t worry, if you can’t tell which is which, we’ll let you know.  You’re welcome to sign our guestbook so we can send you e-mails about upcoming events which will also be posted about upcoming events which will also be posted here as they’re conceived, confirmed, etc.”

The exhibit apparently went through March 31.

There are some clever bits to it.


But the only part I really liked were the Etch-a-Sketches.


Very nicely done.