How To Work and Live in Your Hood: Joanna Futral’s Dance in Bushwick

How did the Dance in Bushwick performance series get started?

Last March I had ACL surgery, so while I was recovering on my couch, I started this social media handle. It is always the New York dream to live and work in your own neighborhood and being stuck in Bushwick made me realize I never wanted to leave.

I have lived in Bushwick for six years. At some point you just decide on a place — everyone seems to move at least five times in the first NY year– and I grew to care about this place. Sure it’s getting gentrified and many things are more expensive than they were, but the artists are still here and there is so much culture that was here already, including the Puerto Rican Day parade and the murals that are everywhere. Bushwick has so much space to do your own thing or to collaborate, and it still feels like the possibilities are endless because of that.

I immediately had dreams, if nothing else, of letting other people know how much dance is here. There is already a lot of visual art promotion, but there didn’t seem to be a strong platform to share the dance scene, even though Chez Bushwick, Mayday Space, Otion Front Studio, and a ton of other dance artists are here.

Eventually, Dance in Bushwick turned into a presenting series, and through promoting events, I have met other artists and venues. The goal is to make even more art happen in my neighborhood through showcasing and cultivating the artists that live and work in Bushwick. Dance in Bushwick Vol. 2 happens this Saturday at Unit J, a very cozy, intimate music venue [think OG Dixon Place living room], and will feature six dance artists [including Issue 02 cover artist Suzi Rzceznik]. This will be the venue’s first dance show. Local businesses are partnering with special offers for our audience and artists.

And while the L train is still scheduled to shut down next April, my mantra is to keep building community here so we have enough resources to weather that inconvenience. You may not be able to get into Manhattan easily to see a show, but it won’t matter, because we will be performing here.

words by Joanna Futral | images by Scott Shaw

Dance in Bushwick Vol. 2 is this Saturday at 8pm, $15. Click here for tickets. The show features music by Dru Cutler and dance performances by Ryan AlbeeLir KatzDale RatcliffDakota Bouher, and Caroline Nelson and concludes with an all-encompassing full-crowd dance party until the night is done. 

Plus a limited number of copies of our Issue 02 will be on sale!

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