District News

Multidisciplinary Performing Arts Pop Up in Dante Park

Sep 17, 2021
Multidisciplinary Performing Arts Pop Up in Dante Park

Update: The performance has been rescheduled to Sunday, September 26. 

Originally scheduled for Sunday, September 19, there will be a special performance at Dante Park by one of Lincoln Square’s friends, performance and visual artist playwright and actor Lulu Lolo on Sunday, September 26! You may have met Lulu Lolo in the past at our information carts in the summer or at the Winter’s Eve information tent, as she has been a familiar face to many in our district for a number of years. Through her upcoming production, Dante, Opera and Shining Shoes: Rituals of My Italian Immigrant Grandpa’s Life, Lulu Lolo is bringing to life the memories of her Italian immigrant grandfather, Giovanni Pascale, who died before she was born.

Through family lore, Grandpa Giovanni was a man of myth to Lulu Lolo. He loved opera and the poetry of Dante, and shined shoes for a living. This performance celebrates his life with operatic arias and accordion performed by tenor, Aaron Halevy; and with actor/dancer Luca Villa reciting in both Italian and English an excerpt from Dante Alighieri's La Divina Commedia. Dancers Sara Grassi, Maria Hochnowski, and Rathi Varma will highlight his story of immigration and shining shoes (choreographed by Anabella Lenzu with musical accompaniment by Aaron Halevy). The performance highlights that the struggle of the immigrants of the past is the struggle of the immigrants of today. In turn, this performance will also commemorate the 700th anniversary of poet Dante Alighieri's death on September 14, 1321. Prior to this upcoming event, the sculpture was conserved in 2021 by the NYC Parks Monuments Conservation Program, and a rededication ceremony was held at Dante Park on Tuesday, September 14. Click here to see the program. 

Dante, Opera and Shining Shoes: Rituals of My Italian Immigrant Grandpa’s Life will be performed in the shadow of Dante Alighieri’s statue and the Metropolitan Opera House at Dante Park (Columbus Avenue at West 63rd Street). The first performance will be held from 2:30pm – 3:00pm and the second at 4:00pm – 4:30pm. Admission is free, though seating is limited. This program is made possible by the City Artist Corps Grants program. Don’t miss it this weekend!

Photo Credit: Lulu Lolo
Original post: 9.14.21