International Music and Dance Festival Returns to New Rochelle Library

NEW ROCHELLE, NY – This summer, the New Rochelle Public Library is ready to explore the diverse cultures of the world with you – no passport required.

The International Music and Dance Festival returns to downtown New Rochelle for six weeks this summer, thanks to the New Rochelle Public Library (NRPL), New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (NRBID) and Friends of the Library public of New Rochelle. A live performance will take place at the Ossie Davis Theater every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. from July 12 through August 16. A wide range of music and dance performances representing cultures around the world will be offered.

“We are thrilled to bring back the International Music and Dance Festival after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic,” said Tom Geaffino, director of the New Rochelle Public Library. “The Festival, launched more than 20 years ago, has been a highlight of the summer program in New Rochelle. I am so happy that we are able to continue this tradition, showcasing diverse cultures from around the world.

The series will begin on Tuesday, July 12 with Native American Redhawk Dance. There will be an explosion of color and sound in this performance by a group of Indigenous artists, performance artists and musicians. They will share their traditions while breaking stereotypes and promoting a better understanding of Native American history. Registration for the program can be done here.

July 19, Bokandeye African Dance will perform. Young and old can discover the rich and colorful history of West Africa through dance, rhythm, song and theatre. A collage of traditional rhythms and dances from the Senegambia region of West Africa will be staged and choreographed to tell the stories and folklore of ancient African villages. Registration for this program can be done here.

Nai Ni Chinese Dance will take the stage on July 26 with an evening of multicultural and interactive dance with dazzling costumes and props. The dancers will take the audience on a journey to discover one of the oldest cultures in the world. Narrated by the performers, the audience will learn about the history, geography and basic practice of traditional dance. Spectators will be invited on stage to learn how to dance with silk ribbons. Registration is requested here.

On August 2, the Irish dance company will feature a mix of traditional and modern Irish dance with intricate rhythms, intricate formations and impressive aerial movements. Paired with the music of some of Ireland’s greatest modern bands, this troupe of youngsters of all ages and abilities will bring excitement and inspiration to the whole family. Registration can be done here.

Arab dance of Aszmara returns on August 9 for Middle Eastern and Arabic dance performed in beautiful costumes by world-renowned artist Aszmara. Accompanied by folk music by Armenian musicians Robert Boghosian on oud, Souren Baronian on clarinet, kaval & dooduk and Mal Stein on dumbek. Registration is requested here.

The series will culminate on August 16 with Calpulli mexican dance. Members of the famous Mexican dance company Calpulli will be joined by students from the library’s Mexican dance summer workshop for this final performance. Dressed in colorful costumes, the dancers will celebrate the rich regional dance traditions of Mexico’s diverse cultural history. Registration can be done here.

“We are very excited to once again have the inspiring and educational International Music and Dance Festival here in New Rochelle Downtown,” said Karel Littman, Executive Director of New Rochelle Downtown BID. “Thanks to our partners at NRPL, these wonderful cultural experiences are back here for all ages to experience and enjoy.”

Registration for all events can also be done by email or by calling 914-813-3706.

The Ossie Davis Theater at the New Rochelle Public Library is located at 1 Library Lane in New Rochelle.


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