The Astor Alive! outdoor performing arts festival returns to Astor Place on September 23 for a day of FREE dance, music, poetry and cabaret.
This year’s festival presents some of the finest talent and creativity from the leading cultural powerhouses residing in Astor Place and the East Village, including the Blue Man Group Drum-Off and live performances from Joe's Pub at The Public, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and Bowery Poetry Club among many others. Scroll down to see the complete schedule....
The South Plaza Stage
The Cooper Union Orchestra 1:00pm
The orchestra from Cooper Union, one of the country’s leading schools for architecture, engineering and art will perform the 1st movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony among other classics.
St. John's University Choral Society 1:25pm
The St. Johns University Choral Society take to the stage with twenty powerful voices performing favorites from pop and a’capella genres.
Peridance Contemporary Dance Company 2:00pm
Peridance presents two brand new works, which both premiered during its recent Spring Season at the Salvatore Capezio Theater on East 13th Street.
YOUnite by choreographer Marlena Wolfe, explores masculinity, femininity, and their intersection points, proposing that these two constructs may be more fluid than we often realize. The work is visceral, physical, and is accompanied by powerful music by Middle Eastern-French songwriters Bachar Mar-Khalifé and Armand Amar. Their second performance will feature excerpts from Artistic Director Igal Perry’s most recent full-length work, Dia-Mono-Logues, which explores the ways people subconsciously project their prejudices and preconceived notions onto others, affecting every interaction and relationship.
The American Mime Theatre 2:55pm
Performing in front of the iconic Alamo sculpture whose 50th anniversary Astor Alive celebrates, the American Mime Company will perform two short mime plays. “Music Box”, the story of a piquant romance of two figures on top of a mechanical toy, and “Hurly-Burly”, featuring three friends atop a stool trying to protect their privacy in direct conflict with their need to relate to each other.
Joe's Pub at The Public 3:10pm
Joe’s Pub the legendary nighttime haunt of The Public Theater presents a dazzling cabaret of music and poetry led by pianist and bandleader Samora Pinderhughes & Friends of the Joe’s Pub family.
Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes is a 25-yr-old composer & pianist, known for large multidisciplinary projects and for his use of music to examine sociopolitical issues. Samora has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, MoMA, the Sundance Film Festival, and Monterey Jazz Festival, and has toured internationally with artists including Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, and Emily King.
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club 4:10pm
La MaMa E.T.C returns to Astor Alive with a stellar line up of artists, performing highlights from their 56th season, which reflects the urgency of reaffirming human interconnectedness.
Downtown legend Nicky Parasio, curator of the Club at La MaMa, emcees a rousing showcase of music, dance and theater on the Alamo stage, featuring The Anna/Kate Band, Ombro de Oro, Ephrat Asherie, Shane O'Neill and Kaila Mullady.
Founded in 1961 by award-winning theatre pioneer Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has a worldwide reputation for producing daring performance works that defy form and transcend barriers of ethnic and cultural identity.
Blue Man Group Drum-Off Grand Final 5:30pm
The Astor Alive festival will culminate in a rousing finale with the finals of the first-ever New York Blue Man Group Drum-Off! Talented drummers from across the country have competed for a place in the finals on the Astor Alive stage!
Watch finalists Kwesi Robinson, Murphy Aucamp and Campbell Youngblood-Petersen battle it out one final time for the prestigious title of Blue Man Group Drum-Off Champion and a chance to win over $6,000 in prizes from DW, Vic Firth, VOX, Korg, Sabian, and more!
The North Plaza Stage
Hetrick-Martin Institute 1:00pm
The Hetrick-Martin Institute open the north stage with two performances of music and dance. Titled “Creative Expression”, the performances were created at the Hetrick-Martin Institutes ‘Music Masters” program which focuses on music production, with emphasis on aesthetics, original composition, and performance.
The Hetrick-Martin Institute is the oldest and largest organization with the mission to help educate, empower and advocate for LGBTQ youth.
Ori Flomin 1:45pm & 2:40pm
Acclaimed choreographer, Ori Flomin has created two masterful sets for Astor Alive, titled "Together, Together”, the performance examines the various elements that create community, through the medium of dance and movement.
The performances examine the dependence of people on one another, as well as the tensions that influence behavior and existence in collective life.
The Cooper Union Steel Bridge Demonstration 2:00pm – 2:20pm
The Cooper Union Steel Bridge Team narrates and demonstrates how in less than eight minutes they can construct a 20' bridge made completely of steel and capable of holding a load of over 2,500 pounds, all of which they designed and fabricated!
The Cooper Union Steel Bridge Team is a dedicated group of individuals who annually compete in the ASCE-AISC Steel Bridge Competition.
The Cooper Union Nova Dance Team 2:25pm – 2:30pm
The Cooper Union Nova Dance Team present a short showcase of their original choreography and lively performances!
Ori Flomin 2:40pm
Beat Box Workshop by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club 3:00pm
La MaMa E.T.C has been dedicated to all forms of theater since 1961, including Beat Box. Join them for their Beat Box Workshop by Baba Israel and Yako 440! With origins in Hip-Hop, beatboxing is the mimicry of early drum machines, known as beatboxes. Baba Israel’s and Yako 440’s workshop traverses the many Beat Box styles and techniques from its origins to present day.
Bowery Poetry Club 3:45pm
Bowery Poetry, a beacon for the oral tradition of live poetry in all its forms, present their incredible Bowery Poetry 2017 Slam Team, along with Bowery Slam DJ Flip Bundlez.
Don’t miss this stirring 90 minute showcase of soaring words, powerful voices and exceptionally thought poetry, examining the social and political issues of our times.
Mini Spinning Cube Workshops 1:00pm – 3:30pm
To celebrate 50th anniversary of the Alamo Sculpture you will be able to create and collage your own mini- spinning cube with iconic East Village images from the past 50 years – from storefronts to album covers, famous faces to places and iconic graffiti to community gardens. Created by the Processional Arts Workshop.
Puppetry Workshops 4:00pm – 4:45pm
Create, color and bring to life your very own original puppets at the Astor Alive Puppetry Workshop by LOCO7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company. Discover how theatrical puppets can become an extension of a dancer’s body, and learn the techniques of mask design and construction with Federico Restrepo and Denise Greber.
The Strangers Project 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Share your story about anything you want, Astor Place, the East Village or your own life! The Strangers Project is a collection of over 20,000 anonymous handwritten “journal entries” shared spontaneously by passing strangers. At Astor Alive, hundreds of personal stories will be shared in the very public bustle of Astor Place.
The Peter Cooper Block Party
Taking place alongside Astor Alive is the Peter Cooper Block Party presented by the Cooper Union Alumni Association. Free and open to the public there will be many colorful workshops and activities including mosaic workshops and the craft workshops with the opportunity to bedazzle your mini spinning cube!!