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Dance on Benches, Cars and Hills Bring Outdoor Performance to Red Hook

 Cora Dance will present 'Common Dances,' a series of outdoor performances around Red Hook, which they will be rehearsing this summer.
'Bench' from Common Dances
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RED HOOK — Walk through the neighborhood this summer and you might find seemingly common people seated on a bench or arguing in a car.

Linger for a moment, because if you hear music in the air, ordinary life could turn into a dance performance right before your eyes.

In cars, on paths, hills, swings and doorways, the Cora Dance is bringing their newest work to the streets with “Common Dances,” based on human relationships.

“There’s so much richness in everyday interactions,” whether it’s getting to work in the morning, raising your children or speaking to a stranger, said Shannon Hummel, artistic director of Cora Dance, a neighborhood dance school and studio.

Wearing speakers on her body, Hummel and a team of dancers will be rehearing their outdoor dances throughout Red Hook from July to October.

The studio will perform a series of short, intimate performances around the neighborhood this summer, like “Bench,” “Door,” and also “Car,” which will take place in and around Hummel’s 2009 grey Toyota Yaris.

“These are common people,” said Hummel, “They’re dealing with one another in a way that is really universal.”

Hummel said she wanted to bring dance to people who couldn’t necessarily visit the theater because of location, cost or finding a babysitter, among other reasons, she said.

“It’s a lot of work to go see a live performance,” Hummel said.

The studio has also created longer, large-scale feats like “Hill,” and “Path,” that Hummel hopes to perform on the path through the Red Hook housing projects next year, she said.

While most of the summer projects are based outdoors, the studio will be working on indoor performances for the winter months, Hummel said.

Cora Dance will perform the completed series, next summer, in Red Hook, where people will be given a map to explore the neighborhood in search of dance for the pay-what-you-can performance.

“This is an opportunity, especially after Sandy, for people to come to the neighborhood,” she said.

To find “Common Dances” locations around Red Hook, visit Cora Dance on their Facebook page or their website.