Fringe Fest closing weekend: BANDALOOP scaled building and breakdancers competed at MLK Park
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The 2022 Fringe Festival closed out on Saturday with thrilling acts, including performers scaling a downtown building, a breakdancing competition at MLK Park, and an attempt to set a juggling world record.
Dance act BANDALOOP was among the 34 free acts during the weekend. BANDALOOP members danced suspended by strings on the side of the 21-story Five Star Plaza building, on Friday and Saturday nights.
There were more than 500 acts at this year’s Fringe Festival across more than 30 venues around the city. The festival started on September 13.
Here are some of the 34 free acts that were on Friday and Saturday:
- BANDALOOP (Friday and Saturday): A pioneer in vertical dance movement, California’s BANDALOOP returns to the Fringe and the 21-story Five Star Plaza after enthralling tens of thousands of spectators in 2012 and 2013. The internationally-renowned company turns the dance floor on its side by seamlessly weaving together dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and the art of climbing. BANDALOOP’s work has been presented in theatres and museums; on skyscrapers, bridges, billboards and historical sites; and on natural wonders around the world. Outside of Five Star Plaza
- Fringe Street Beat (Satruday): The epic dance-off competition returns! Now in its seventh year, Fringe Street Beat is all-out dance battle featuring top talent from across the Northeast, featuring emcee DJ ha-MEEN (Ithaca), DJ Victorious (Toronto), and a panel of judges including TEIN (last year’s champion, Buffalo), Bgirl Mantis (NYC), and Mai Le Ho (NYC). From breakdancing to allstyle, teams bring their A-game – and their adrenaline – to every eye-popping round, starting with preliminary trials and leading to the final dance battle. At Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park
- Largest Juggling Lesson (Saturday): Take part in a World Record-Breaking experience! Join us on the top level of the Strong Museum of Play’s brand-new parking garage as we attempt to break the record for Largest-Ever Juggling Lesson, led by juggling instructors Ted Baumhauer and Jeff Peden! This once-in-a lifetime event is intended for everyone from the young to the young-at-heart! All attendees will receive three commemorative juggling balls! At the parking garage of The Strong National Museum of Play
- Howling with Howie’s Hound Dawgs + Kazoo Forum (Saturday): Escape the mundane with music and story from around the world. Climb the beanstalk with Howie Lester (a two-time winner at the International Folk Music Film Festival). Fall off the beanstalk with the Intergalactic Kazoo Orchestra (please bring your own in case we don’t have enough to go around). At The Little Theatre
- Vanessa Sweet – Amplifying Feedback Loop (Friday and Saturday): On view at RIT City Art Space’s big screen (in the window facing Liberty Pole Plaza), this short film features looped, metamorphic 2D-animated vignettes that inform the magnifying “domino effects” of climate change and community-led solutions. At the RIT City Art Space
Here are some of the acts that require tickets:
- Cell Outs (Saturday): Hilarity ensues when two prisoners find themselves trapped in a medieval dungeon. Can they set aside their differences and work together to formulate a daring escape? Or will they choose to “cell out?” A one-act play by Richard Steele, directed by Philip Detrick. At Salena’s
- Commotion Dance Theater (Saturday): Inspired by stories and poetry, Commotion Dance Theater brings together movement, music, props and more for their newest show! Ruben T. Ornelas presents “Mexican-American Purgatory,” an irreverent and absurd dance about being betwixt and between cultures; and Laurie MacFarlane performs “Talespin,” a fast-moving mash-up that reimagines characters from myth, folklore and fairytales. At the Multi-Use Community Cultural Center
- At Home with Garth Fagan Dance (Friday and Saturday): Attendees will get a rare and intimate glimpse into Garth Fagan Dance as we reemerge despite COVID. Meet new dancers perform the classic Garth Fagan Dance Repertoire, including revivals, new pieces, and works-in-progress by the Tony Award-winning choreographer, Garth Fagan, and the Bessie Award-winning Rehearsal Director, Norwood “PJ” Pennewell. At Garth Fagan Dance Studio
- Earth, Wind and Circus (Friday and Saturday): Come one, come all to a show that portrays the importance of individuality and community! “Earth, Wind and Circus” follows two groups based in the late 70s: the Punks and the Funks. When the Punks meet the Funks, everything changes. At Aerial Arts of Rochester
- From Broadway to Obscurity (Friday and Saturday): A musical exploration about one man’s struggle to get to the top of his game, and then the struggle to find his place when the game has ended. Eric Gutman made the transition from Jersey Boys Broadway star to suburban Michigan dad – now, he shares his extraordinary gifts with audiences in this thrilling concert experience that weaves together songs from musical theater and popular music, with sneak peeks at what goes on backstage at one of the biggest hits in Broadway history. At the School of the Arts
Some of the venues for the 12 days of entertainment included Ellison Park, Geva Theatre, Mt. Hope Cemetery, and Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. This year the Spiegeltent, at the corner of Main and Gibbs streets, was back.
Since debuting in 2012, the worldwide fringe festivals series has drawn more than a half-million visitors from all over the world to thousands of performances and events. The Rochester Fringe Festival, which is not-for-profit, has become one of the nation’s largest and most successful fringe festivals.
“It’s very exciting because we have no central artistic committee deciding on everything and that leaves for a lot of artistic freedom and as a result, there’s something for everyone at Fringe,” said Erica Fee, executive of the Fringe Festival.
The festival has come to be known as “The Rochester Model” by the more than 200 fringe festivals around the world because Rochester has attracted internationally acclaimed performers and provides many acts that are free and outdoors.