Saturday, May 17, 2008


It's the Second Annual New York Dance Parade celebrating diversity of dance forms. I took photos of a few of the participants as they danced their way through St. Mark's Place.

On May 17th, thousands of us will dance in the streets of New York City, moving to every kind of dance music under the sun. Why?
To celebrate diversity as "One Parade with Many Cultures" 31 genres are represented:
African, Algerian, Ballet/Ethnic, Ballroom, Ballroom, Swing, Latin & Tango, Belly Dance, Break Dance, Cumbia, Disco, Ecstatic, Folkloric, Greek, Hip-Hop, Hooper, House, Hustle and Salsa, Jazz, Mambo, Modern, Roller Dance, Roller Disco, Sacred, Salsa, Samba, Swing, Tap Dance, Techno, Tinku, Tribal, West Coast Swing, Zydeco, just to start!

To honor Dance’s historical roots: 
New York has never celebrated the forms of dance that it has birthed until now: Voguing, Jazz, the Jitterbug, Punk, Gothic--even Salsa was birthed in the Cuban Communities in this great city. And it is now time for Dance. New York has enjoyed the last three years of a September Art Parade and since May 2007, we are finally honoring Dance in a similar fashion.
To unite in respecting Dance’s diversity: 
Dance is vital in healthy societies, helping people to communicate and affirm individual and collective identity. Dance Parade is a multi-cultural, multi-generational expression of the joy and value of these various forms of expression. It will foster cross-pollination of dance forms as it introduces audiences to novel styles and beats: teenagers to tango, clubbers to square-dancing, and seniors to hip-hop.
To support grass-roots organizations: 
As an umbrella organization, Dance Parade empowers and supports dance communities that do not have access to public funding yet have a communicative art form they wish to practice and promote. We help them build websites, get access to materials, fundraise, and reach broader audiences.
To legitimize Dance as a communicative, social form of expression: 
In the 19th century, ballroom dancing was deemed devil’s work. In the 1920’s, New York City enacted the Cabaret Law to stem interracial dancing from Harlem Jazz Clubs. The 1930’s had Nazi Germany quashing Swing Dancing because it was considered anarchistic. And in 2006, a New York State Supreme Court ruled that, unlike music, theater and painting, dance is not a constitutionally protected form of expression. In contrast, Dance Parade will highlight the diversity found in its many forms and showcase dance’s immense cultural and communicative importance.
To invoke joy and brotherhood: 
New York’s annual dance parade will reinstate New York City as the dance performance and nightlife capital of the world. We quote Dr. Motte, the founder of Berlin’s Love parade: “Dance is spreading rapidly and is unstoppable around the world. It is about LOVE and it is about FREEDOM. This represents a much wider personal, social and spiritual transformation-revolution which will utterly change our world over the coming decades.

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