Lincoln Center Goes ‘Out of Doors’ With a Big Free For All
By Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer, July 21, 2017
Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival is bringing an other-worldly level of performers for an “only in New York” kind of experience. The festival’s free performances (that’s right—FREE) runs July 26 through August 13, and includes a Double Dutch competition, an outdoor screening of The Big Lebowski, performances by legends such as Bonnie Raitt, and Dionne Warwick, and many other artists to help you get your groove on.
Kicking things off on July 26 at 7:00pm is NPR Music’s Turning the Tables Live in Damrosch Park. This event features some of music’s most talented women performing selections from NPR’s upcoming list of the 150 greatest albums by women from 1964 to the present. Performers will include 1960’s “Be My Baby” singer Ronnie Spector, Labelle trio member Nona Hendryx of “Lady Marmalade” fame, indie hip hop artist Lizzo, Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno, Bronx-native Alynda Segarra, and indie performer TORRES. The following day on July 27, the Nosotros Festival will hit the Park starting at 7:00pm. This celebration of gender-neutral Latinx culture, and expression of pride, and art, the festival will feature performances by its founder Alynda Segarra alongside the band Hurray for the Riff Raff, as well as Las Cafeteras, Helado Negro, Xenia Rubinos, Felipe Luciano, La Bruja, and Bonafide Rojas.
Friday, July 28 brings Heart of Tones: A Tribute to Pauline Oliveros to Hearst Plaza at 7:00pm, and Paul Taylor Dance Company & Duchess to Damrosch Park at 7:30pm. The tribute to pioneering composer Pauline Oliveros will praise her influence through a 50-year career span. Oliveros was a frequent guest of the Out of Doors Festival until she passed away in 2016, and will be celebrated with a performance by The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). The Paul Taylor Dance Company will perform signature pieces, Company B, which questions American myths from times of war, and Airs, set to music by Handel. The performance will feature live music by New York vocal trio, Duchess; South African jazz singer Vuyo Sotashe will be the opening act for this evening’s event.
On Saturday, July 29, there will be Double Dutch Demonstrations by members of the National Double Dutch League at Josie Robertson Place at 10:30am and 12:30pm. There will also be a chance to attend the Double Dutch Open Jump at 11:00am, for all ages and skill levels, with music provided by The Lower Eastside Girls Club Avenue D-Js. There’s also a chance to learn about the influence of Double Dutch on the arts in New York, at David Rubenstein Atrium at 2:00pm, with a discussion organized by Women of Color in the Arts. The Atrium will also host a film screening of Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show at 3:30pm, a depiction of a New York team’s journey to the 1981 World Invitational Double Dutch Championship at Lincoln Center. The screening will include an introduction by the filmmaker, Skip Blumberg. Stay after the film for a dialogue with members of the original team.
Saturday’s events will also include choreographer Heidi Latsky’s On Display at the Hearst Plaza at 6:00pm. This performing arts installation will question the mainstream expectations and definitions of beauty. Damrosch Park will feature An Evening with Rumer with a performance by the British songstress, featuring legend Dionne Warwick, at 7:30pm.
On Sunday, July 30, teams from all across the country will compete at a Double Dutch National Classic Competition at 12:00pm, in Josie Robertson Plaza. At 6:30pm in Damrosch Park there will be Something for the People, a concert to celebrate the influence of 1980s New York with performances by collective Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen, Double Dutchers, and DJ Natasha Diggs.
On August 2 at 7:30pm Damrosch Park will feature Angélique Kidjo with band Ibibio Sound Machine, marking their U.S. debut. The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter will be reimagining the Talking Heads’ ground-breaking album Remain in Light.
Damrosch Park will be filled with the sounds of Bollywood Boulevard on August 3, as Hindi cinema lights up the stage with a fusion of live music, dance, and imagery at 7:30pm. Following this up at 10:30pm there will be a “silent movie” screening of The Big Lebowski. Fans can don bowling shirts and headphones for this outdoor “silent” viewing of the Coen Brothers’ classic comedy.
Sister act Chloe & Maud will appear August 4 at Hearst Plaza for Apt 33: Where Dreams are Made starting at 7:00pm. The show combines tap dance with pop culture in a night of jaw-dropping artistry and footwork. The same night Damrosch Park will feature Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Suite for Ma Dukes at 7:30pm. This is a chance for New Yorkers to experience an orchestral tribute to the music of composer, producer, and rapper J Dilla.
On Saturday, August 5 La Casita will perform at Hearst Plaza at 12:00pm. This group of artist activists will give voice to the movements of LGBTQ, women’s, civil, immigrant, and human rights through poetry and music. That evening at 7:30pm in Damrosch Park will be Nick Lowe’s Quality Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue starring Los Straitjackets. This night of true rock ’n’ roll with 70’s British music legend and “Cruel to be Kind” singer Nick Lowe will be alongside surf rockers Los Straitjackets.
Heritage Sunday takes place on August 6 at 1:00pm at Hearst Plaza. The afternoon performance celebrates Central Asia and Eastern Europe’s traditional music and dance. La Casita will make another appearance, this time at Teatro Pregones at 2:30pm. At Damrosch Park at 7:00pm will be a performance of Talking Drums: Stand Up! Speak Out! featuring Caribbean, Japanese, African, and Native American musical traditions.
Things begin heating up when Spanish Harlem Orchestra and Edmar Castañeda take stage on August 9 at Damrosch Park. The two-time Grammy Award–winning Orchestra will light up the night with vibrant salsa music starting at 7:30pm. The following day on August 10 catch OkayAfrica’s Riddim & Beats featuring the funk beats of West Africa and Caribbean rhythms.
August 11 brings Kendra Foster performing at Hearst Plaza; a close collaborator of singer D’Angelo, the neo-soul performer will take over the spotlight starting at 7:00pm. At Damrosch Park Natalia Lafourcade and Vagabon appears at 7:30pm for an unforgettable musical evening from the two triple-threat performers.
The festival goes into its final weekend by presenting Roots of American Music: Americanafest NYC which includes performances spanning over two days. On August 12 at 2:00pm Hearst Plaza showcases Traveller, Flaco Jiménez, Amanda Shires in an eclectic afternoon musical performance. Then at 6:00pm The Jayhawks: A Celebration of Chuck Berry takes over Damrosch Park. Bringing the festivities to a close on August 13 will be a special performance featuring Bonnie Raitt and Don Bryant; this is a not-to-be-missed event.
Cover: Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Damrosch Park Bandshell; photo: Kevin Yatarola.