The VILLAGE ALLIANCE PRESENTS THE FIRST ever Astor Alive! Festival, free to the public, to celebrate THE NEW ASTOR PLACE, a vibrant cultural district with over two dozen historic theater, dance, music, architecture, and art institutions.
The very best Astor Place and Lower East Side theater and dance companies will perform across four stages, embodying five important historical themes of Astor Place: Theater for All, Alternative Cultures and Radical Politics, Thinkers and Writers, Immigrant Populations, and Architectural Frontiers.
A glamorous cabaret on the Alamo Stage kicks off the FREE festival on Friday September 16th followed by a line up not to be missed.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 5:00PM - 8:00PM
THE ALAMO STAGE
Theater for the New City - The legendary experimental East Village community-based theater opens the festival with their full cast of 30 talented performers singing songs from their rambunctious new street theater show "Election Selection, or You Bet!"
La MaMa E.T.C. - La MaMa E.T.C. - Presents a stellar line up of performers celebrating La MaMa 's 55th season, downtown legend Nicky Paraiso, curator of the Club at La MaMa, emcees on the Alamo stage, featuring John Kelly, Dane Terry, Mx Justin Vivian Bond, and Chix 6's Lourds Lane all of who have showcased new work at The Club at La MaMa, the cabaret venue which downtown legend, curator and performer Nicky Paraiso has hosted for over a decade.
Now celebrating its 55th year as a legendary Off-Off Broadway institution La MaMa continues to be dedicated to the artist, which includes actors, playwrights, directors, designers, visual artists, and virtuoso performers without regard to race, gender, identity, and continues its tradition of inclusion which transcends politics and unifies cultures.
Joe's Pub - Joe’s Pub at The Public is New York City’s leading showcase venue, playing a vital role in The Public Theater’s mission to support artists and develop new work. Powered by the vibrant energy of its location at Astor Place, amidst the creative forces of the downtown scene, Joe’s Pub is committed to diversity, community and artistic freedom.
For Astor Alive!, Joe’s enlists the talent of Lance Horne, the award-winning composer, pianist, singer and music director, who arranges and performs with Alan Cumming, and has worked with Rufus Wainwright, Kristen Chenoweth, Sandra Bernhard and many more. Horne will host a bevy of his talented colleagues and some surprise guests!
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 1:00PM - 5:00PM
THE ALAMO STAGE
Bowery Poetry - A beacon for the oral tradition of live poetry in all its forms, here they present stirring and evocative spoken word performances by distinguished New York poets as well as youth from the Hetrick Martin Institute.
Rod Rodgers Dance Company - This vital member of the Astor Place and Fourth Arts Block cultural district present their senior company, performing works choreographed by their artistic director Kim Gier-Martinez and of course their founder Rod Rodgers.
The Public Theater - One of New York's leading cultural institutions in the creation of new work, as well as Free Shakespeare in Central Park and Joe's Pub, will preview a couple of new productions in their 2016/2017 season.
Peridance Contemporary Dance Company - Having performed internationally and at many major New York City theaters, Peridance arrives at the Alamo Stage to present a diverse repertoire created by their many notable choreographers.
THE COOPER STAGE
Cooper Union - Founded on the radical principal that higher education should be "free and open to all," one of the country's leading schools for architecture, engineering, and art takes the stage to showcase the diverse and talented members of their student body including their A'Capella group the "Cooper Tones", Bollywood style dancers in traditional costume and the Cooper Union orchestra.
Lawrence Rush & The Underground Harmony - From the early days of busking in the Astor Place subway station and other hubs across the Lower East Side, this slick retro band with their distinctive sound will rock the Cooper Stage.
Bowery Poetry - The founders of the Bowery Poetry Club performance space and prominent player in the slam poetry scene present their incredible, evocative poetry slam team.
La MaMa E.T.C - Having been dedicated to all aspects of theater and the artist since 1961 spanning all forms of theater, from puppets to performance art, beat box to classical theater, La MaMa E.T.C showcases the many forms of expression that make up their world.
THE SOUTH STAGE
Rod Rodgers Dance Company - The students of the Rod Rodgers school, where young people explore the relationships between dance, music, poetry theater and athletics, present performances embodying all they learned during their intensive summer program.
Hetrick-Martin Institute - HMI's mission is to foster healthy youth development regardless of sexual orientation or identity. Members of their programs present a vibrant dance performance including open mic and spoken word performers.
La MaMa E.T.C - As a place where emerging artists learn from established artists around the globe, sharing work and ideas, LA MaMa E.T.C. take to the south stage to present their youngest and freshest talent with highlights from their popular beat-box workshop.
Grace Church School - Since 1894 Grace Church School has been a pillar of the Astor Place community with it's unique climate of diversity, acceptance and understanding. For Astor Alive! the school presents their students for an exciting series of performances by their singers, instrumentalists and dancers.
New York Health & Racquet Club - Once you're totally inspired by the incredible dance across the stages, learn the secrets of the best performers when the New York Health & Racquet Club teaches an upbeat Zumba class led by Solange Gomez and Bryan Davis.
THE NORTH STAGE
Danspace Project - An international leader in commissioning and presenting contemporary dance, curates a program of site specific performances from the dance companies, Laurie Berg and Douglas Dunn.
Jule Skloot from Ballez - This dance workshop will be open to people of all ages and will draw on elements of creative movement, and folk dance structures to get everyone moving and making up dances together! Jules Skloot is a dancer, performance maker, and teacher who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Jules frequently collaborates and performs with Katy Pyle in the Ballez, and over the past 15 years has taught movement classes in public schools, independent schools, senior centers and other community art spaces.
THE GRAND PROCESSION
The Astor Alive! festival culminates in a colorful, dynamic procession that replicates the atmosphere of the world's most famous street carnivals. See giant puppets, spinning Alamo cubes, Brazilian drummers and performers take to the streets around Astor Place. Everyone is invited to join the procession to walk side-by-side with these amazing performing groups!
Processional Arts Workshop - Creators of some of the world's most memorable processions, PAW leads the parade with giant puppet figures and massive spinning Alamo cubes, all crafted by volunteers at the Astor Alive! workshops.
Fancy being a volunteer at one of your workshops, now is your chance! You'll be creating giant puppets that each represents a distinct aspect of Astor Place’s pivotal history based on the themes of Theater for All, Alternative Cultures & Radical Politics, Thinkers and Writers, Immigrant Populations, and Architectural Frontiers. Guided in the designs by the Processional Arts Workshop directors Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles participants will be involved in every stage of production, from developing imagery, to building puppets, to performing in the final procession.
Covering techniques ranging from bamboo armature-forming to digital decoupage, the workshops are geared toward adults, but kids (recommended 10 and up) are welcome to join in the process.
To sign up and join one of our worshops, click here -
CREATIVE & ARTS WORKSHOPS at COOPER SQUARE
In the midst of each music and dance performance you'll be able to join one of the many creative arts workshops taking place across the festival grounds. Kids and adults alike will have the chance to leave their own personal mark on the first Astor Alive! festival.
Puppetry Workshop - Take the opportunity to create bright, original puppets in this family workshop hosted by Federico Restrepo and Denise Greber from the East Village gem, La MaMa E.T.C.
Mini Spinning Cube-Making Workshop - Building on the success and fun of this summer's 'Creativity Cubed', this supervised workshop provides everything you need to design and build your very own mini spinning Alamo Cube to then carry in the Astor Alive! Grand Procession.
Giant Cube Sticker Slam - Join artists to sticker slam huge cubes representing the festival's historical themes. Everyone can join in with no artistic talent necessary, only your imagination! Our artists will teach and guide you through.
HOW TO FIND OUT MORE...
Keep checking our website for much more festival information, as well as our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds where we will be featuring each performer between now and the festival. And don't forget about our hashtag - #AstorAlive
We hope to see you at this very special day for Astor Place. Invite your friends and share the news with our dedicated Facebook invite!