The Third Annual BEAT Festival
An Invitation To Move, Explore, Engage
With its mix of ethnic neighborhoods, historic culture, progressive style and timeless attitude, Brooklyn is a crucial base for creators in the performing arts. The borough’s compelling thump powers The BEAT Festival, a sprawling annual showcase of the best in Brooklyn theater, dance and voice artists. Staging ticketed and free events at majestic and unusual spaces throughout the borough, BEAT shows why Brooklyn’s performing arts are so influential and electrifying and why the borough’s unique pulse galvanizes audiences as well as artists.
For our third festival’s opening, we return to the Brooklyn Museum. Sample the BEAT in Brooklyn’s largest cultural institution as all of this year’s artists will perform throughout. If you came last year, you know how much fun this event is. Visitors will receive a map with the locations of each act marked. From there, it’s up to you – choose your own adventure!
*NOTE: The museum’s standard suggested donation entrance policy still applies.
A rare combo of new music and NYC Bruk-Up come together in the MetroTech Commons. New music ensemble Two Sides Sounding will perform a selection of songs and duets about life in New York City, including music by New York composers Ellen Mandel, Ray Lustig, Daron Hagen, Gabriel Kahane and Gilda Lyons. Then witness the uncanny movements of the Bed-Stuy Veterans, pioneers of NYC Bruk-Up, an art form that utilizes body pops, locks, waves, glides, and shakes to visually represent the music itself. Come early, grab lunch, and settle in for a free hour-long show!
Award-winning designer/artist Chanel Kennebrew will set up a “BK Beat Makes Me” booth at iconic Brooklyn locations to ask people how they respond to the Brooklyn Beat.
Responses will memorialize the festival and the moment, and appear as a running social media “performance” given by…you.
Improv Everywhere will post an original mp3 file that people will add to their mobile devices. Participants will then synchronize watches, convene at a public place, and blend in. At a predetermined time, they all press Play. Hilarity ensues as the agents carry out ridiculous, coordinated instructions delivered to their headphones via narrator “Steve,” and everyone else tries to figure out what the hell is going on.
Draw the Circle is the hilarious and moving story of how a conservative Muslim family deals with a child who defies their most basic expectations of what it means to have a daughter – and one woman’s commitment to unconditional love. Told entirely from the point of view of family and friends, yet performed by Deen himself, the show compassionately brings to life the often-ignored struggle of a transgender individual’s family.
The year is 2020. We’re in a society of hyper-surveillance, where privacy is illegal and secrets are a thing of the past. An underground band of “Aloners” have hacked their way off the grid, inviting outsiders into a hidden world. Participants are matched with a Private(i) – an undercover guide – and embark on a covert walking tour deep within the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Through a series of unexpected encounters, they reconnect with a time when privacy still existed.
Crossing Over is a nighttime tour of Green-Wood Cemetery featuring four site-specific dance performances, each uniquely created by a distinctive Brooklyn-based choreographer to celebrate the now, with history and place as the stunning backdrop. These dramatic performances will coincide with a journey though Green-Wood led by Atlas Obscura, tour-guide to the world’s most wondrous places. The expedition and performances will highlight tombs from New York’s remarkable performing arts history, and conclude within the cemetery’s hallowed catacombs.
The Bed Stuy Veterans demonstrate NYC Bruk-Up, a style of movement based on a dance form that originated in Jamaica. It is essentially Jamaican dancing, hence the name Bruk-Up (Bruk is the West-Indian way of saying Break or Broke). It was created in the mid-1990’s by a man of the same name, BrukUp.
In the interactive dance creation project #TweetDance, professional dancers of all styles turn tweets and short prompts from audience members near and far into minute-long improvised dance performances – on the spot!
Note: #TweetDance is part of BEAT Opening Night
With a student population that reflects NYC’s diverse economic and cultural fabric, Dancewave offers young people the opportunity to learn, create, and perform dance together. Founded on the belief that performance is the fastest route to achievement, students are given the opportunity to study and perform cutting edge modern dance repertoire. Since its inception in 1995 by Artistic/Executive Director Diane Jacobowitz, Dancewave creates challenging artistic programs that address young people’s needs for individual achievement and group identity.
Two Sides Sounding presents the premiere of Daniel Felsenfeld’s Bruce Bailey, an “urban cantata” on the life and times of the late tenants’ rights activist, the opera scene Stop and Frisk by Sidney Marquez Boquiren, a look at two childhood friends in conflict over a police incident, and the premiere of Ellen Mandel’s HAIKU NYC.
“The true definition of an artist” is how Harry Belafonte describes Aja Monet, an internationally established poet, performer, and educator from East New York. She is recognized for her spellbinding voice, stage presence, and imagery that captivates audiences around the globe.
Take advantage of our simple pass system to get maximum access to this year’s BEAT Performing Arts Festival. Purchase a full festival pass for just $60. Open the festival to your liking and explore the performance side of Brooklyn.
Learn all about this year’s performance locales and how the BEAT Festival proves to be a celebration of diversity and place. For many reasons, we’ve chosen these unique spaces for this year’s festival. Take a tour of Brooklyn by following the festival to these wonderful locations.
See BEAT Performances for free by joining our volunteer corps. We need your help in making this year’s festival a huge success. For every performance you volunteer at, get a comp to see another performance of your choice.