An eco-artistic festival on Amsterdam Avenue

Jody Sperling /Time Laps To dance. Photo by Jun Hua Eu.

An “open street” on avenue d’Amsterdam between 109th and 110th streets will offer ecological and artistic programs on Saturdays from 12 noon to 6.30 p.m. The full output and schedule are below:

Jody Sperling /Time Laps Dance and The Columbus-Amsterdam BID are teaming up to present the Amsterdam Eco / Arts Festival on the open boulevards of Amsterdam Avenue between 109 and 110th Streets on Saturday, September 18, from noon to 6.30 p.m.

The program is offered as a celebration of Park (ING) Day, an annual global event where people transform spaces normally inhabited by cars into public places for people. This FREE public program includes dance and music performances, community planting, poetry, participatory art, karate and Zumba workshops for all ages, family games and more.

The afternoon starts at noon with Melissa Elstein of ‘Love Your Street Tree Day’ and Peter Arndtsen and Michael Gonzelez of The Columbus-Amsterdam BID leading an educational tree-walking tour of 106-110 streets, followed by a demonstration planting. Volunteers can sign up to help beautify and plant along the neglected stretch of Minerva Bernadino Greenstreet with native flowers.

At 3 p.m. Jody Sperling /Time Laps Dance (TLD) presents a new work focused on ecology. “Plastic Harvest”, a collaboration between choreographer Jody Sperling and composer Matthew Burtner, investigates plastic pollution. Radically transformed by costumes made from hundreds of plastic bags, the dancers (Anika Hunter, Maki Kitahara and Andrea Trager) appear as plastic creatures that feed and frolic in their street habitat. The dance creates a surreal spectacle while provoking a contemplation on the beauty of what our society rejects. Next, TLD features clips from other works, including “Arboreal Entanglement,” exploring the relationship between people and trees, performed by Sperling with music by Burtner and “Bunhead’s Back,” on what it’s like to feel different.

TLD’s performance is accompanied by excerpts from “Treaty Between Earth and Self”, an interdisciplinary poetry-music-theater-dance project composed by N. Scott Johnson under development by Rattlestick Theater. This piece is an introspective journey into an Amazon-inspired world and explores the sounds of the Brazilian Forró. (Directed by Danilo Gambini with poetry by Colin Greer, percussion by Victor Caccese, voice by Alice Reys and choreography by Sperling.)

At 2 p.m., Oleana Whispering Dove, a Native American and Tsalagi-Algonquian Indigenous historian, will offer an Indigenous New York orientation providing information on the Indigenous history of the festival site. Next, Oleana will read her Dream Catcher poetry about the legend of the Tsalogi water spider, an iconic female animal spirit.

jill sigman / thinkdance shares “To Mend” is an iterative, time-consuming process of organizing and dancing with ceramics – a meditation on breaking up and how we’re going to put the pieces together again. In this partial installation, Jill will carefully and thoughtfully organize a set of handmade ceramic shards into a structure that can be played like an instrument. There will be construction and deconstruction, sound and silence, movement and stillness, in this reflection on slowness, loss and repair, both personal and structural.

In parallel throughout the afternoon, the artist Capucine Bourcart realizes her installation “Plastic Blanket”, in which she continuously knits plastic bags “thank you” together, a project started in 2003.

The program ends with the local rhythms of Sonny Daze, a Latin jazz trio with performers Salvador Merced, JojoSoul and Armando Duchesne.

Throughout the day, All Street Journal features participatory and socially responsible murals for children. Harmony by Karate offers a family workshop (1:30 p.m.) and Marianel Marquez from BeFitNYC offers a free Zumba class (4 p.m.). The festival will also have civic and community engagements, including the presence of Stop-the-Chop, a New York-based grassroots organization that advocates for stopping non-essential helicopter flights to reduce noise and pollution and promote health. public.


12 p.m.-12.30 p.m. – Walking tour of the tree clumps. Meet at the corner NW 110 / Amsterdam.

12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Community plantation, Love Your Street Tree & Col-Amst BID Day

12:30 to 1:30 – jill Sigman / thinkdance, construction of the installation for To Mend

12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Capucine Bourcart, installation “Plastic cover”

1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Harmony by Karate family lesson

2 p.m.-2.15 p.m. – Orientation / Native New York Poetry, Oleana Whispering Dove

2:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. – jill sigman / thinkdance, performance “To Mend”

3 p.m. – Treaty Between Self and Earth (open)

3:05 p.m. – Jody Sperling /Time Laps Dance (TLD)

3:45 p.m. – Treaty Between Self and Earth (close)

4 pm-4:30pm – Zumba by BeFITNYC

4.30 p.m.-6.30 p.m. – Jazz trio Sonny Daze

The public is advised to protect themselves and the community by respecting social distancing and wearing a mask where appropriate.

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