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Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing

Dance Under the Summer Sky in NYC

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SwingScene-c-Kevin-Yatarola.jpg

Dancers show off their moves at Midsummer Night Swing

Photo credit: Kevin Yatarola

When: Tuesdays through Saturdays, June 24–July 12, 2014

Where: Damrosch Park (W. 62nd St. btwn Columbus & Amsterdam Aves.)

Now in its 26th year, Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing event brings dancing under the stars to the Upper West Side. Participants can show off their fancy footwork on an open-air dance floor set up in Damrosch Park, as dance bands and musicians from around the globe pipe through toe-tapping tunes. The ticketed event runs over 15 evenings (from Tuesdays through Saturdays) between June 24 and July 12, 2014.

Midsummer Night Swing is open to all members of the dance-loving public, welcoming all ages, skill levels, and cultural backgrounds. Whether its swing or samba, tango or two-step that gets you grooving, this summer dance festival has got you covered. The season starts up on June 24 with jazz artist Cécile McLorin Salvant, who will be fronting a dance band for some classic swing, and winds down on July 12 with more swing and blues from the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, featuring special guest James Carter.

Evenings kick off with included-in-the-admission dance lessons at 6:30pm, led by premier NYC instructors, while live music and dancing runs from 7:30pm through 10pm (with a set break in between). Look, too, for special add-on events like silent discos following the live sets on June 26 and July 3, where participants dance to DJ-spun beats through wireless headphones; catch a special kids' dance event on the festival closing day; and more.

The full 2014 Midsummer Night Swing lineup is as follows:

  • June 24: Main Act: Cécile McLorin Salvant with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks [Classic Swing]; Lesson: Lara Jeffers teaches Lindy Hop; DJs: Chazz Young and Norma Miller
  • June 25: Main Act: Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca with special guest Jimmy Bosch [Soukous, Semba, Kizomba, and Cuban Son]; Lesson: Carlos König teaches Mambo; DJ: Andreas P.
  • June 26: Main Act: The Loser’s Lounge: Dancing Queens: The Music of ABBA and More [Disco]; Lesson: Maria Torres teaches Hustle; DJ: Bill Coleman; Second DJ for Silent Disco: DJ Rimarkable
  • June 27: Main Act: The Hot Sardines [Hot Jazz, Swing]; Lesson: Heather Flock teaches Lindy Hop; DJ: DJ Miss Bliss
  • June 28: Main Act: The Band Courtbouillon featuring Wayne Toups, Steve Riley, and Wilson Savoy [Cajun]; Lesson: Fredda Seidenbaum teaches Cajun Dance and Creole Waltz; DJ: Meredith Ochs
  • July 1: Main Act: Milly Quezada [Merengue]; Lesson: Rodney Lopez teaches Merengue; DJ: George Nenadich
  • July 2: Main Act: Save the Last Dance For Me: Roomful of Blues Plays the Music of Doc Pomus [Jump Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll]; Lesson: Paolo “Pasta” Lanna teaches Lindy Hop and Jitterbug; DJ: Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus
  • July 3: Main Act: The First Ladies of Disco featuring Martha Wash, Linda Clifford, and Alfa Anderson, Luci Martin, and Norma Jean Wright (formerly of Chic) [Disco, Hustle]; Lesson: Diane Nardone teaches Hustle; DJ:  Bobby Morales; Second DJ for Silent Disco: Belinda Becker
  • July 4: Main Act: Willie Rosario y Su Orquesta [Salsa]; Lesson: Jimmy Anton teaches Salsa; DJ: DJ Broadway
  • July 5: Main Act: James Langton’s New York All-Star Big Band featuring Dan Levinson and Molly Ryan: CLARINET A LA KING! The Tribute to Benny Goodman Classic [Swing]; Lesson: Evita Arce and Michael Jagger teach Lindy Hop; DJ: Dawn Hampton
  • July 8: Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks: Boardwalk Empire, with special guests Margot B. and Stephen DeRosa [Swing]; Lesson: Roddy Caravella teaches Charleston; DJ: Odysseus Bailor
  • July 9: Main Act: Cojunto Chappottín y Sus Estrellas [Cuban Son]; Lesson: Carlos Mateu teaches Son Montuno; DJ: DJ Babaloo
  • July 10: Main Act: Octavio Brunetti Tango Orchestra [Tango]; Lesson: Eva Carrozza teaches Tango; DJ: Maria José Sosa
  • July 11: Main Act: Casuarina [Samba]; Lesson: Marizete and Kilby teach Samba de Gafieira (Partner Samba); DJ: Alex Carioca
  • July 12: Afternoon Act: Kids’ Dance! (free) [Ballroom, Salsa, Swing, Merengue]; Main Act: Harlem Renaissance Orchestra with special guest James Carter: A Tribute to Illinois Jacquet [Classic Swing, Jump Blues]; Lesson: Margaret Batiuchok teaches Lindy Hop; DJ: Ryan Swift

Note that no bags or purses can be brought onto the dance floor, so leave them at home, or check them on-site for a fee of $3. Also keep in mind that there's no seating guarantee (but then again, you can't dance while seated!). When you are ready to give your dogs a rest, pick up sandwiches, chili, and more at the Hill Country Barbecue Market, and wash it down with vended drinks like beer, wine, champagne, soda, and water.

Tickets for individual Midsummer Night Swing events are $17, or pick up multi-passes, including four-dance passes for $60, six-dance passes for $84, or the full-season pass for $170 (including VIP tent access). Or, nab a special Ambassador’s Pass for $100, which includes admission for four to the same event, along with bag check and a glass of beer or wine per guest. (Note that in the event of rain, individual tickets can be refunded or exchanged for another night; pass-holders, however, are not entitled to a refund.) Pick up tickets at the box office in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall (Broadway & 65th St.), or online at www.midsummernightswing.org. Day-of tickets, bought after 5:30pm, are also available directly in Damrosch Park.

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