Photo Credit: Andrew Fassbender

Bryant Park Picnic Performances

Contemporary Dance

First-Come, First-Served Entry

All Bryant Park Picnic Performances Are FREE

Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America season of free, live performances this summer continues with eight esteemed New York City-based dance companies showcasing their work on the Bryant Park stage. The series begins on June 3 with choreographer Alrick Thomas’ contemporary modern dance company AThomasProject and street and social dancing company Ephrat Asherie Dance; on June 4, all-female contemporary dance company Ariel Rivka Dance and the beatbox and street dance fusion from The Missing Element; on June 10, Contemporary Modern dance from Black-led dance hub EMERGE125 and Tap from award-winning dancer and choreographer Ayodele Casel; and, on June 11, Ballet Hispánico’s Social Latin Dance Class and Tap with Afro-diasporic roots from Music From The Sole and Post-Modern dance from Dance Heginbotham.

Attendees may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. At most performances, attendees can purchase food from a rotating line-up of local NYC vendors curated by Hester Street Fair. At all performances, Stout NYC offers cheese and charcuterie boards as well as a selection of beer, wine, frosé, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase. COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are not currently required but Bryant Park will continue to monitor and follow updated New York City and New York State COVID-19 guidelines throughout the summer as necessary.

Performance Details

Friday, June 3 at 7PM

Featuring AThomasProject (Contemporary Modern) and Ephrat Asherie Dance (Hip-Hop) AThomasProject gives space for artists to investigate ideas, movement, and process under the choreography and direction of Alrick Thomas. AThomasProject has been awarded The Fund for New Work 2015 from Harlem Stage and has been curated by ITE Arts and Sound Business INC. This project has performed in venues such as Battery Dance Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, Hofstra College Earl Mosley Diversity of Dance, and more. Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) is a dance company rooted in African-American and Latino street and social dances. Dedicated to revealing the inherent complexities of these forms, EAD explores the expansive narrative qualities of various street and club styles – including breaking, hip-hop, house and vogue – as a means to tell stories, develop innovative imagery, and find new modes of expression. EAD’s first evening-length work, A Single Ride, earned two Bessie nominations in 2013 for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and Outstanding Sound Design by Marty Beller. The company has presented work at The Apollo Theater, Celebrity Series, Columbia College, Dixon Place, FiraTarrega, Guggenheim Works & Process, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, La MaMa, River to River Festival, Mass MoCA, New York Live Arts, SummerStage and The Yard, among others.

Saturday, June 4 at 7PM

Featuring Ariel Rivka Dance (Contemporary Modern) and Works & Process at the Guggenheim’s The Missing Element (Beat-Boxing and Street Dance) Ariel Rivka Dance (ARD) is an all-female contemporary dance company based in New Jersey led by Artistic Director Ariel Grossman. ARD’s mission is to champion female creatives through original choreography, commissioned music, and curated family and educational programming. Through movement, ARD creates a community of vulnerability and acceptance, providing opportunities for hope and connection. Commissioned by Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, The Missing Element fuses the music-making of beatbox with street dance. Creative directors Chris Celiz, a world champion beatboxer, and b-boy Anthony Vito Rodriguez “Invertebrate” assemble a formidable cast including members of The Beatbox House including Amit Bhowmick, Celiz, Neil Meadows “NaPoM,” Gene Shinozaki, and Kenny Urban, and dancers including flexer Joseph Carella “Klassic,” Krumper Brian “HallowDreamz” Henry, and breakers Graham Reese and Rodriguez “Invertebrate.” Created at the peak of the pandemic in two Works & Process bubble residencies, The Missing Element is an immersive experience exploring the universal elements of earth, wind, fire, water, and space. The performance will be an adventure of music and dance, where all sound featured is 100% human-generated.

Friday, June 10 at 7PM

Featuring EMERGE125 (Contemporary Modern) and Ayodele Casel (Tap) EMERGE125 is a Black female-led hub for dance performance, creation, and education. The organization operates dual homes in Harlem and Lake Placid, New York, while serving audiences both locally and around the world. EMERGE125 has established itself as a leader by setting new standards for dancer care; creating innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations with leading artists; and using movement as a catalyst for community building: expanding the reach, purpose, and impact of the art of dance. Ayodele Casel, an award-winning “tap dancer and choreographer of extraordinary depth” (The New York Times) and one of The New York Times‘ “Biggest Breakout Stars of 2019,” most recently serves as Tap Choreographer for the recent Broadway revival of Funny Girl. She also created and choreographed Chasing Magic, a dance film and concert encapsulating the wonder of collaboration and artistry. Ayodele was also a 2019-2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and Artist in Residence at Harvard University. Ayodele has the privilege of being a featured tap dancer honoring the art form of tap on a 2021 US Postal Service Forever Stamp.

Saturday, June 11 at 7PM

Featuring Ballet Hispánico’s Social Latin Dance Class (Public Class), Music From The Sole (Tap), and Dance Heginbotham (Post-Modern) Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and community engagement. For fifty years Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy, and is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States and one of America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences. Music From The Sole is a tap dance and live music company that celebrates tap’s Afro-diasporic roots, particularly its connections to Afro-Brazilian dance and music, and its lineage to forms like house dance and passinho (Brazilian funk). Led by Brazilian choreographer Leonardo Sandoval and by composer Gregory Richardson, their work embraces tap’s unique nature as a blend of sound and movement, incorporating wide-ranging influences like samba, passinho, Afro-Cuban, jazz, and house. The mission of Dance Heginbotham (DH) is to move people through dance. Dance Heginbotham is a New York-based contemporary dance company committed to supporting, producing, and sustaining the work of choreographer John Heginbotham. With an emphasis on collaboration, DH enriches national and international communities with its unique blend of inventive, thoughtful, and rigorous dance theater works. Founded in 2011, DH quickly established itself as one of the most adventurous and exciting new companies on the contemporary dance scene, and is celebrated for its vibrant athleticism, humor, and theatricality, as well as its commitment to collaboration. DH has shared the stage with music icons including Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Rider, Gabriel Kahane and Shara Nova, and members of The Knights orchestra. Well-known for his 14-year tenure as a dancer with Mark Morris Dance Group, Artistic Director John Heginbotham creates work known for its “tight formal structure and inventive movement, bolstered by a disarming wit and strangeness” (The New Yorker).

Complete Bryant Park Picnic Performances Line Listings


May 27: New York City Opera: The Barber of Seville

June 3: Contemporary Dance: AThomasProject and Ephrat Asherie Dance

June 4: Contemporary Dance: Ariel Rivka Dance and The Missing Element

June 10: Contemporary Dance: EMERGE125 and Ayodele Casel

June 11: Contemporary Dance: Ballet Hispánico’s Social Latin Dance Class, Music From The Sole, and Dance Heginbotham

June 17: New York City Opera: Pride in the Park

June 24: Emerging Music Festival curated by AdHoc

June 25: Emerging Music Festival curated by AdHoc


July 1: Carnegie Hall Citywide: Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble

July 8: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Baylor Project

July 15: Carnegie Hall Citywide: Squirrel Nut Zippers

July 22: Carnegie Hall Citywide: The Broadway Sinfonietta

July 23: Jazzmobile: Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band

July 28: Performers TBA

July 29: Carnegie Hall Citywide: Performers TBA


August 5: Performers TBA

August 12: New York City Opera: La traviata

August 19: Asian American Arts Alliance: Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang

August 26: Habibi Festival: Esraa Warda & The Châab Lab, Firas Zreik, Yacine Boularès, and AJOYO

August 29: The Town Hall: Eighth Blackbird Celebrates John Cage


September 2: New York City Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor

September 8: Steinway Artists Aaron Diehl and Orrin Evans

September 9: Classical Theatre of Harlem

September 16: Accordion Festival: Heart of Afghanistan and More

September 17: American Symphony Orchestra

About Bryant Park Corporation

Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park in New York City. BPC is funded by income from events, concessions, and corporate sponsors, as well as an assessment on neighboring properties, and does not accept government or philanthropic monies. In addition to providing security, sanitation, and horticultural services, BPC offers restaurants, food kiosks, world-class restrooms, and a wide range of free events throughout the year. The Midtown Manhattan park is visited by more than 12 million people each year and is one of the busiest public spaces in the world. BPC’s website,, offers more detailed information and a schedule of upcoming events.

Follow Bryant Park


Twitter: @bryantparknyc

Instagram: @bryantparknyc



Location and Subway Directions:

Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park; or, take the 7 train to 5th Avenue.

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