LONG ISLAND CITY — Dozens of professional dancers will take over four Queens waterfront parks this weekend, performing inside playgrounds, on picnic tables, benches and other unusual spots for free.
The INSITU Site-Specific Dance Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday at various sites in Hunters Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queensbridge Park and Socrates Sculpture Park — with performances scheduled to take place continuously for seven hours both days.
The festival will feature 24 dance companies that will incorporate their locations into their performances, "activating public spaces through dance," according to organizer Svea Schneider.
Dancers, for example, will use the Adirondack chairs along the waterfront in Gantry Park, dance on the staircase in Queensbridge Park, swing through the playground at Hunters Point South Park and perform on the sandy beach next to Socrates Sculpture Park.
"Every choreographer is really making use of their creativity and re-envisioning the space, and being inspired by the space," she said.
Schneider, who is head of the Long Island City-based Kinematick Dance Company, said she wanted to organize the festival as a way to bring professional dance performances into the public sphere.
"I love free and accessible art for the general public. I love to make dance widely available," she explained.
The event was also a way to link Long Island City's various parks and waterfront green spaces.
"I've lived here for almost 10 years, and I've always envisioned a dance festival along the waterfront," Schneider said. "I felt the need to do something for the community that is a platform to bring people together outdoors."
The festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 7 p.m., with performances scheduled at each of the four parks that will repeat three times during the course of both days.
The performances are timed so that viewers can walk through the parks and see the works in order, what organizers describe as "a chain of dynamic and immersive performances throughout" each location.
A map of each performance site and full schedule of times can be found on the festival's website, and it's possible for dedicated audience members who hit each venue from south to north to time it so they can catch all 75 performances — what would amount to nearly seven straight hours.
Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike, or take the Q103 bus between the different park venues, and car-sharing company Lyft is offering discounts to attendees who use the code "INSITUDANCE."
All performances are free, though those who wish to donate to the festival's Kickstarter campaign can do so here.