The crowd at Lincoln Center on Tuesday night was maybe the hungriest it’s ever been. Starved, even. Not for food — concessions were available — but for dance. For sweaty, muscular bodies in motion; for skin bumping against skin; for release! The BAAND Together Dance Festival, which was made possible by Chanel, provided some much-needed sustenance.
For the first time ever, five of New York City’s most acclaimed dance companies — Ballet Hispánico, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem — performed on the same stage as part of Restart Stages, the new outdoor performing arts center in Damrosch Park. This was some dancers’ first time performing for a live audience in over a year, and the collective energy felt like it could have powered the entire venue.
“This festival is a celebration of the glory of our art and the power of unity,” wrote the artistic directors of each company in a joint statement. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicked things off with “Lazarus” by Rennie Harrisan, an exuberant number set to excerpts of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” Each piece to follow evoked a different emotion and style, reminding audiences just how much they’ve been missing.
The BAAND Together Dance Festival performances will take place every night at Lincoln Center through Saturday, August 21. Free tickets are available through an assigned seat lottery system as well as day of general admission. For more information about how to snag one, click here.