Astoria, Dance, Real Estate
Feb 21, 2018

Rioult Dance NY Moving to Kaufman Arts District

A new professional dance company is coming to Astoria.

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While the news was reported over a year ago by the Wall Street Journal (see relevant article clip), it’s worth reminding you that Rioult Dance NY is moving to a new building at 34-01 Steinway Street (AKA 34-11 Steinway Street), the northeastern corner of the Kaufman Arts District. It’s nearest neighbors are MOMI and the Kaufman Astoria Studios. This is a great addition to the District, bringing a seasoned dance company to the neighborhood later this summer.

Rioult Dance NY was founded in 1994 by French choreographer Pascal Rioult, who was a principal for the Martha Graham Dance Company before he established his own company with wife Joyce Herring. Over the past 24 years the company has rehearsed and produced their dance seasons in temporary spaces in Manhattan, so the new Astoria location will be their first truly permanent home.

They have signed a 15-year lease for an 11,000 square foot space that will house studios for rehearsals and classes (five of the studios will also be available for rent), the company’s administrative offices, and a performance space. According to the WSJ, “the landlord, Schuman Properties, adapted the property by building out 14-foot ceiling heights and areas with 36-feet column spacing, a critical feature for the dance center.”

There are also 125 parking spaces in the building, but it is basically next door to the 34th Avenue entrance to the Steinway Street M/R stop. This is convenient for both people driving to see dance performances, those taking transit, and for residents in the building—83 units were proposed, though it looks like in the end there are 57. Here are some photos of the property—one of the artist rendering and two of the building while it has been under construction.

Speaking of dance performances, if you’re curious about Rioult Dance, you can see them perform soon at Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Here’s the information QT’s marketing manager sent us:

On tap for the limited run, will be an eclectic program featuring “Te Deum,” one of Rioult’s earliest works that has stood the test of time; “Wien,” an image of a decaying society that remains eerily relevant today and “Dream Suite,” inspired by the surreal world of Marc Chagall.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to present RIOULT NY at such an exciting time for the company, as they open their new center in Astoria,” said Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone. “The fact that this extraordinary company is making its home in Queens is something to celebrate. This is an opportunity for people in the community to see the work of their new neighbors.”

After the March 4th matinee, theatre-goers are invited to stick around to toast RIOULT Dance NY’s move to a new studio and performance space at 34-01 Steinway St. in Astoria.

Shows are set for Saturday, March 3, at 2pm and 8pm and Sunday, March 4, at 3pm. Tickets range between $20 to $42.

Recently we have been reading online a fair amount of criticism of Steinway Street—remarks that it looks rundown, that there are too many empty storefronts, and that it’s basically a sad sack of a place. Rioult Dance NY is just the kind of organization that can help bring new life to the area and we look forward to seeing their positive impact on the Astoria community.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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