Real live dancing! In other times those three words might connote a neon sign outside a strip club. But in the time of Covid-19 you can simply take them at face value. And in this case, they refer to the highbrow shows of the Kaatsbaan Summer Festival, where a rotating cast of stars from the NY dance scene are performing on weekends all summer long. Stella Abrera, whose retirement performance as a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater was canceled due to the pandemic just months ago, is already flourishing in her second career as artistic director of the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, NY. In fact, she and executive director Sonja Kostich have managed to pull off quite a feat, holding the only live dance performances pretty much anywhere in the United States this summer. I lucked out: for the last five months I’ve been quarantining fifteen minutes away in the Hudson Valley.
Emily Kikta and Peter Walker. Photograph by Quinn Wharton for Kaatsbaan Summer Festival