For one night only, the Queensboro Dance Festival comes to Flushing Town Hall as part of their annual summer tour in Queens, this Friday night! The Queensboro Dance Festival presents a vibrant array of contemporary and cultural dance companies all from Queens. Enjoy a slice of Queens dance, followed by an audience talkback with the choreographers.
Director of the Queensboro Dance Festival Karesia Batan, a choreographer and Producer, gave us a preview of Friday’s performance.
What can an audience expect to see?
Audiences can experience an exciting, unique event of Queens art, music, and dance all in one evening at Flushing Town Hall. We hope audiences will come away feeling inspired, a little more connected to our Queens arts community, and wanting to see more local artists’ work in the future!
How did you start as a performer?
I moved to Queens after college to pursue a dance career, joining the hustle of the city. After some years, I realized I was always leaving my resident borough of Queens for my dance career, whether it be classes, auditions, rehearsals, performances…but I knew there had to be many other fellow dancers and resources right here in Queens. It was challenging to find the dance community in Queens, so I founded the Queensboro Dance Festival in 2014 as a way to bring our Queens dance community together.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Flushing (my parents immigrated from the Philippines in the 70s), and grew up in CT. I’ve been living in Queens since 2006, mainly in Long Island City where I am now.
What do you hope audiences experience?
I hope audiences discover and appreciate the diverse talent living and working in Queens, and are inspired to go see more art and performances by Queens artists and in our Queens art institutions across the borough.
What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?
FTH is such an important institution for Queens arts and culture; their programming is so unique, accessible, and often underrated. It is an honor to have our festival there and we hope to bring even more local audiences to experience this historical venue!
What is on the horizon for you?
Our Queensboro Dance Festival tour season runs through October 14, so we have a handful more performances throughout Queens after our Flushing Town Hall performance, including Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights, Hunter’s Point Park in Long Island City, Forest Park in Woodhaven, and Queens Theatre. Our full schedule is on our wesbite, www.queensborodancefestival.com! Personally as a dancer/choreographer, I am currently working on a Tinikling performance (Filipino folkdance), as well as a new collaboration with a jazz band from Jackson Heights.
Each show of our festival features a different line-up of companies unique to each tour stop venue, so we hope audiences continue to catch us on tour! We love what we do and are dedicated to bringing local dance to our Queens communities!
The festival also offers our participating companies free rehearsal space, master classes, teaching opportunities (QDF Class Xchanges), networking events (including Queens Movers + Musicians Meetups), and discounts to various Queens dance institutions and resources. In addition to performances, the festival offers the public free dance workshops, and post-show audience opportunities to connect with the dancers including talkbacks (Q&As) and dancebacks (follow-along dance steps with the dancers).