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LES Citizens Parade Comes to Seward Park June 22, 24

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Join Lower East Sider and visual artist Laura Nova, in collaboration with choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas as they present The LES Citizens Parade in Seward Park, as part of the 17th annual River to River Festival.

Friday, June 22 @5:30 PM
Sunday, June 24 @4:00 PM

The LES Citizens Parade, an activist artwork that celebrates the migration and settlement experiences of long-term Lower East Side residents, will produce two neighborhood marches and dance performances by a “moving company” of local older adults, guest artists and musicians in Seward Park. 

Phyllis, who was born on the Lower East Side, will be marching and performing a dance that is about unpacking and trying on clothing. The procession will include 50 participants in a celebration of community. Phyllis met her neighbors in preparation for the parade and now they tap her on the shoulder when she bumps into them walking down the street.

The Parade is the culmination of a months-long project co-created by Lower East Sider and visual artist Laura Nova and choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas with Dances for a Variable Population. The Project offered free sequential dance instruction and visual storytelling workshops at four senior centers in low income Chinese, Latino and Jewish communities; Henry Street Settlement’s Good Companions, LaGuardia, Two Bridges and the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living.

Workshop participants remarked that it is beautiful, “we all speak different languages and come from different cultures but here we all dance and move together.”

“The LES Citizens Parade will give older adults often an “invisible” population the opportunity to be heard in a loud visual and performance spectacle that allows for improvisational community collaboration,” said LES Citizens Parade co-director, Laura Nova.  “Collaborating with choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas on the project brings together my deepening practice of movement with my activism of sustaining the Lower East Side community, where I also live, ” she added.

“The LES Citizens Parade has allowed me to collaborate with professionally trained older artists working in seminal cross-cultural techniques and to engage directly with the public – in movement, in dialogue and in outrage to transmit powerful information about housing, immigration, needs of seniors and other issues defined by the Lower East Side participants.” said LES Citizens Parade co-director, Naomi Goldberg Haas.

The procession and performance will take place on June 22 and June 24 on the Lower East Side’s Seward Park, and will feature neighborhood older adults ages 65+ with guest artists Bernard Dove, Yehuda Hyman & Margaret Yuen; Music composed by Ezra Bloom and Band led by Paul Shapiro.


Procession begins at East Broadway entrance to Seward Park.  

Learn more here!

Shop here to support the project!

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