The BEAT Festival returns, celebrating Brooklyn’s emerging artists

2013 Edition Focuses on Cutting Edge Site-Specific Performances in Non-Traditional Venues, Taking Audiences on a Journey

July 29, 2013 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 2.18.05 PM.png
Share this:

After a successful inaugural season, BEAT Festival organizers announced last week its second annual lineup of innovative emerging Brooklyn artists in theater, dance and voice. The festival will be held from September 12-21, with a focus on site-specific, journey-based performances in non-traditional venues spanning four Brooklyn communities. Performances – including artist mashups, flex dancing, an Odyssey Works piece for one person and much more – will pop up throughout Downtown Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Park Slope and Prospect Heights, injecting culture into unusual spaces.

“This year, the BEAT Festival is taking Brooklyn on a journey. Our cutting-edge artistswill be invading four Brooklyn neighborhoods, bringing the best of the borough’s theater, voice and dance performance to unique and exciting venues,” said BEAT Festival Artistic Director Stephen Shelley. “As always, BEAT is by Brooklyn, for Brooklyn and in Brooklyn, and we can’t wait to treat the borough to another great slate of talent in their own backyard.”

Subscribe to our newsletters

The all-star lineup includes: in theater, Odyssey Works, the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure from Brooklyn College, Ping Chong+Company/651 ARTS and Brave New World Repertory Theater; in dance, a canary torsi, Third Rail Projects, LeeSaar The Company and Storyboard P; and in voice, Freestyle Mondays and Nicholas Tamagna. The performances were all chosen and designed to move and engage audiences in new and different ways, with some acts actually leading audience members throughout the streets of Brooklyn. Highlights include:

BEAT Opening Night – Thursday, September 12th at 7 p.m. – will turn the Brooklyn Museum into the Brooklyn Museum for the Performing Arts for one spectacular night. All the artists in this year’s festival will be positioned throughout the museum for audience members to discover.

Odyssey Works’ immersive journey for one person involves hundreds of volunteers and performers, leading them throughout Brooklyn. RSVP at if you want to participate in this incredible theatrical event.

Brooklyn-based choreographer Yanira Castro, whose work has been performed all over the world, will premiere her new work, “Nancy” at Museum MashUp #1 on Sept 13th at the Brooklyn Museum. This new work has been created specifically for the BEAT Festival.

Brooklyn 63 brings residents’ real stories from the civil rights movement to life with internationally renowned theatre director, choreographer and visual installation artist Ping Chong.

From the incredible minds of the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure (IPA), which grew out of Brooklyn College’s Performance and Interactive Media Arts program, performers will take over the Brooklyn Museum, transforming a traditional museum tour into unexpected, personalized journeys.

A special performance in the synagogue atCongregation Beth Elohim (CBE) will recount the stories of Hurricane Sandy relief volunteers to raise awareness about the continued need in the hardest-hit communities. All proceeds from this event will go to CBE Feeds, which has been helping victims since the storm hit. 

“Bravo to the BEAT Festival and artistic director Stephen Shelley for organizing thismulti-genre, site-specific performance series—and what ‘site’ could be better suited than Brooklyn, the Creative Capital of America?” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Our ‘heart of art’ in a ‘city of stages’ has more artists, dancers, singers, writers and other ‘creative types’ per inch than just about anywhere! This festival, now in its second innovative year, continues to prove that when it comes to a thriving arts scene, Brooklyn simply can’t be ‘beat.’”

Because the festival is dedicated to ensuring that contemporary art is open and accessible to everyone, it includes many free events and ticketed performances range from just $5 to $20, with festival passes and VIP packages also available at Other deals and offers will be available at the neighborhood hubs. The venues span four neighborhoods with multiple locations in each community:


Downtown Brooklyn

Performance venues: MetroTech Commons, Daily News Plaza at the Barclays Center, St. Boniface Church

Hub: La Defense Bakery and Bistro


Performance venues: Bed-Stuy Restoration, Marcy Plaza

Hub: Ms.Dahlia’s Cafe

Park Slope

Performance venue: Congregation Beth Elohim

Hub: Café Dada

Prospect Heights

Performance venues: The Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza

Hub: To be announced

“I am thrilled to welcome the BEAT Festival back to MetroTech Commons,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies. “Downtown Brooklyn is a world-class destination for arts and culture, and the BEAT Festival showcases our own Brooklyn-based artists at local venues. MetroTech Commons has become a growing neighborhood arts hub, and our Summer@MetroTech season continues with thesefree BEAT Festival performances from extraordinary talents in dance, theater and voice.”

“The Brooklyn Museum is delighted to be a venue for this exciting project that is yet another way of our continuing our long tradition of support for the many extremely talented young performing and visual artists in the Borough,” said Arnold L. Lehman, Director of the Brooklyn Museum.

“Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration’s Center for Arts and Culture is pleased to participate in this second year of the BEAT Festival. Presenting BEAT events at Restoration extends our ability to bring the community diverse, cutting edge programming as part our exciting summer and fall season,” said Tracey Capers, Executive Vice President for Programs at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment