A new performing arts festival whose goal is to offer cutting-edge performing artists a chance to show off their talents is under way in Brooklyn. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Marshall Davis Jr. has been tap dancing for 25 years. He was introduced to it while watching television as a kid.
"I was drawn into it by watching Gregory Hines and Maurice Hines on 'Sesame Street' when I was younger and that was my first recollection of tap dancing and I was like, I wanted to do that," recalls Davis.
Davis is one of 13 acts performing in the first-ever BEAT Festival, "BEAT" standing for Brooklyn Emerging Artists in Theater. There are 38 performances in eight venues all around the borough like the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in Park Slope.
"Brooklyn really responds well to festivals, they have all of these great festivals here but nothing featuring the performing arts of theater, dance and voice," says BEAT Festival Artistic Director Stephen Shelly.
Shelly notes that so many artists live in Brooklyn but often do not have a chance to perform for their own communities.
"And because it's New York, these artists are world-class, they're the best in their field. So what we have a chance to do here is create a community event, but that also features world-class talent, which I think is a pretty interesting combination," adds Shelly.
"With some of the other shows as artists, we're not, we're doing someone else's vision we're part of their creative process. So this is giving us the platform to present what we do as artists, and how we want to express ourselves," says Davis.
The BEAT festival runs through Sunday, September 23.
For more information, visit beatbrooklyn.com.