Happenings outside Manhattan

October 14, 2010

Manhattan may be considered the epicenter of dance—at least on the East Coast—but did you know that there are a whole host of cool classes, performances and theaters just a subway or ferry ride away? DS rounded up a list of must-sees and dos in the four outer boroughs.


When heading to Brooklyn, the Mark Morris Dance Center is a must. You can drop in on modern, ballet, belly dancing, Afro-Caribbean and West African classes for only $12.

After class, check out Brooklyn Academy of Music’s (BAM) two theaters—the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House and the Harvey Theater. The annual Next Wave Festival, which begins in October, features local artists like John Jasperse and Doug Varone, as well as international companies like Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal and Batsheva Dance Company (who perform only in Brooklyn when visiting NYC!).

Are you looking for cheap classes and studio rental? Take the L train to Chez Bushwick, which offers hip hop, Alexander Technique and more for just $10. It also has rental space available 365 days a year for only $5 an hour. Artists who have performed in the space include Jonah Bokaer, Miguel Gutierrez and Jeremy Wade.


Located in Long Island City, Green Space offers discounted classes, performances and rehearsal space—and an amazing view of Manhattan! Owner Valerie Green’s mission is to encourage artistic and educational exchange. She offers open modern classes for $15 and yoga classes for $13 throughout the summer.

If you’re in the mood for an intimate performance, check out The Chocolate Factory. The converted industrial space showcases experimental dance, theater, music and multimedia artists, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration.

The Bronx

Perhaps the most famous dance space in The Bronx is The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, known as BAAD! “We present some of the best cutting-edge dance artists of all colors,” says executive director Charles Rice-Gonzalez. It is home to Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre Dance Company and former Ailey II dancer Richard Rivera. BAAD! also showcases works by established, evolving and emerging choreographers, playwrights, poets, musicians and visual and performing artists. Shows cost $12–15 and classes are $10.

Staten Island

You can get to the Staten Island Ballet by taking a fun (and free!) ferry ride. First up this summer: Family Series (July 19-20) at the College of Staten Island Center for the Arts. SIB then hosts the New York International Choreographers Festival (September 13-14), which showcases original choreography by local artists and is free.


Atop Grymes Hill is Wagner College, which offers musical theater performances throughout the year. “Currently we are ranked #2 on Princeton Review’s list of Best College Theatre in the nation, after two years of being #1,” says head of dance Rusty Curcio. Three musicals and one dance concert are staged each year.