Arts On THE ROOF— Arts On Site’s Rooftop Series

In a world where live performances and events have either been canceled or taken to some form of digital platform— owing to the global Coronavirus pandemic— Julliard graduate dancer, Chelsea Ainsworth, and her husband Kyle Netzeband, a visual artist, wanted to bring dance to a live audience on the rooftop of their building in East Village, New York City because Ainsworth believed that it was “time to put people in front of other people and really connect with one another,” even if that meant sitting six feet apart and wearing masks.

The Bang Group performing “Sparkle Again”. Copyright image by Douglas Segars for The New York Times

The idea for Arts On THE ROOF by Arts On Site came about when Ainsworth shot a dance film during her time in quarantine and realized that she was ‘not trained to show her work on a screen’, instead she was “trained to perform on a stage.” Hence, in the process of looking for a way to safely present live dance performances, the couple were able to sanction access to the building rooftop from their landlord for a series of outdoor performances of dance and music through November, reported Siobhan Burke of The New York Times.

4 The Bang Group performing in a circle, while making sure not to touch each other. Copyright image by Douglas Segars for The New York Times

Ainsworth inaugurated the series with dance performances by the contemporary percussive ensemble, The Bang Group, led by David Parker and Dual Rivet, Ainsworth’s collaboration with Jessica Smith. Other troupes scheduled to feature are Welcome to Campfire; contemporary dance group Spark Movement Collective with the contemporary dance-theater group, Rovaco Dance Company; and Breaktime. Arts on THE ROOF will also be showcasing musical performances by the Javier Nero Septet, a seven-piece band blending jazz with elements of American, folk, and blues; Rooftop Ramble, a singer/songwriter ensemble of Mara Lileas, Wolf Van Elfmand, and Gabe Merizalde; Argus Quartet; and Simona Smirnova, a Lithuanian jazz vocalist.

Chelsea Ainsworth (extreme right) performing with The Bang Group. Copyright image by Douglas Segars for The New York Times

Each performance is designed to be 30-45 minutes long, to take place twice on the specified date. At $30 a ticket, only twenty attendees will be allowed per performance to ensure proper social distancing. Additionally, the guests will be welcomed with an infrared thermometer, hand sanitizer, waiver forms, and disinfected pens.


Featured Image Via Pexels

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