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Staten Island Ballet to Kick Off 13th New York International Choreographers Festival with DANCE ACROSS WATERS, 8/2


Staten Island Ballet opens the 13th New York International Choreographers Festival at St. George Theatre with "Dance Across Waters", featuring seven choreographers of ballet, modern and contemporary works, with original music and a live appearance by Vernon Reid of "Living Colour".

Tourists love New York and the hunt for inexpensive thrills that make the Big Apple so famous. With Broadway tickets topping $200, carriage rides costing $80 and soft drinks at $5, they wander midtown and Central Park in search of great expectations at reasonable prices. Their answer this summer?

It's a new bargain tour for families and hipsters alike -- over 3 exciting hours of stunning sights, gorgeous live enter- tainment that New Yorkers adore, and a cool harbor sailing -- for an amazing $15.

It starts with a free and leisurely NYC ferry ride across scenic New York Harbor, past Lady Liberty, to disembark upon a historic island at the gateway to the Atlantic. Stroll along the harbor promenade with spectacular vistas of Manhattan for great photos, and then walk a block to step into one of the city's most beloved secrets , the opulent St. George Theatre, one of the oldest continuing theaters in New York. It anchors the St. George Historic District. It's a favored venue for legends including Tony Bennett, Art Garfunkle, Neil Sedaka, B-52's, Cyndi Lauper, Jonas Brothers and scores of other top artists.

What visitors gain in their do-it-yourself tour is the lively New York International Choreographers Festival. It's great music and dance for nearly 2 hours, providing a world-class cultural afternoon at the 3 p. m matinee, or later for a relaxed sunset sail to the 8 p.m. show.

The Festival -- sponsored by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, ArtsScanNY and the Staten Island Ballet -- presents cutting-edge works of ballet, and modern and contemporary dance created by seven notable choreogra- phers. Staten Island Ballet will dance onto this opulent stage for its 13th annual New York International Choreogra- phers Festival Aug. 2, featuring original works from the sensual to the quixotic.

Making a special appearance to perform his newest composition for dance is multiple Grammy-winner Vernon Reid, founder and leader of "Living Colour."

Choreographers and artists bring together talents in an event rare anywhere in town.

They include:

- Michael Mao and his City Center-based dance company

- Gabri Christa, whose choreography won a Guggenheim Fellowship, did works for Dance Theater Workshop, Central Park Summer Stage and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. She also has performed around the world as a dancer with Bill T. Jones, and is an international film maker.

- Ellen Tharp is founder and artistic director of Staten Island Ballet. Tharp has created more than 40 ballet works, and pro- vides her accomplished dance troupe and guest artists to perform the program.

- Mana Kawamura, a Japanese and European trained dancer, has choreographed and performed her works at venues from Italy to Tokyo.

- Antonio Fini, a product of the legendary Martha Graham Dance, has performed worldwide with Michael Mao Dance and Balletto di Milano. His works have been commissioned by the Kosovo Ballet and the Italian International Dance Festival in New York, among others.

- Giovanni Ravelo performed with the National Ballet of Colombia, The National Ballet of Cuba, and is a dancer and choreographer at Roxey Ballet and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

- Noa Guy, an Israeli-based international recording artist and composer, performs her own choreography in an astonishing work in which she doesn't use her legs but instead provides movements with arms, fa- cial drama and lighting.

"Dance Across Waters"
Where: St. George Theatre, Historic District, Staten Island waterfront
Travel: Free SI Ferry ride, 20-minute trip; departing every half hour seven days a week and evenings. Boarding at lower Manhattan SI Ferry Terminal, return from SI Ferry Terminal St. George. All trips free.
Show: Walk one block from Ferry to landmark St. George Theatre in Historic District. Cost: Ferry free both ways; tickets to the 1,785-seat St. George Theatre, $15, 20, $25.
Tickets: Box office 718-442-2900, or Ticketmaster 800-745-3000
Time: August 2, Saturday, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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