Since 2005, Solar One has presented a program of Solar-Powered Dance, with outdoor performances on our small stage alongside the East River and in Stuyvesant Cove Park. Over the years, more than 60 emerging choreographers have presented their work, with music powered by the sun, to enthusiastic audiences. Several of them have presented featured works in Stuyvesant Cove Park, including Jamal Jackson, Gabriel Forestieri and Julie Troost, all of whom had shown their work in previous Dance Series.
In addition to supporting the work of young artists, Solar One’s Dance program has presented dance works by a number of established choreographers, including Alice Farley Dance Theater, Chinese Theatre Works, Marlies Yearby, Dan Safer and Patricia Hoffbauer.
Presenting dance in the intimate setting of Solar One reveals the dancer’s talents in a fresh way. Performed in broad daylight, the focus of the performance is 100% on the dancer’s skill and the movements, and audiences see every expression, adding to the drama of the show.
In 2011, Solar One presented Dance Siteworks in the Park, showing Handleless by Gabriel Forestieri and HUG by Julie Troost. Created specifically for the Park, Handleless used the built and natural features of the Park to inspire the dancers’ movements and give the audience a new way of looking at the Park, directing their gaze toward various features such as the shelters along the bike path and the bolders scattered throughout the Park.
Julie Troost’s HUG was created after the events of 9/11 and is a healing ceremony as much as a performance work. While its movements were very simple, the impact was profound. Through social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, people were invited to share their memories of loss, which were shared with the audience online and in the program. Attendees were also invited to share their own stories in a journal. As the dancers moved deliberately through the Park, stopping to slowly and ritualistically hug, audience members and passersby were tempted to join in.
Also in 2011, Solar One initiated a new partnership with the Dance Films Association, presenting an evening of dance films including a video by Ok-GO, a trio for three backhoes and a pas-de-deux performed in the aisles of a supermarket, along with a live dance piece by choreographer Rebecca Brooks, performed to a video by Bjork. Please look for more work from DFA this summer at Solar One!