Little Island Announces Lineup For Inaugural Storytelling & Dance Festival

Photo: Little Island

Little Island, New York City’s new public park in Hudson River Park by W. 13th Street, announced today the line-up for the 2021 Storytelling Festival, running July 21-25, 2021 and Dance Festival, running September 15-19, 2021. This year's Storytelling Festival is curated by Little Island Artists-in-Residence PigPen Theatre Co. and the Dance Festival is curated by Little Island Artist-in-Residence Ayodele Casel along with Co-curator Torya Beard. The majority of festival programming is free with admission to the park and tickets for select events in The Amph are on-sale now at and

Curated by Little Island Artist-in-Residence PigPen Theatre Co., this multidisciplinary Storytelling Festival draws upon their theatrical and eclectic style to animate and activate Little Island’s spaces with surprise and wonder. Singer-songwriters, musicians, poets, and more will illuminate storytelling in a variety of art forms. Programs mix and match genres while artists invite audiences to collaborate in the creative process and engaging works from multihyphenate artists including Adam O’Farrill; Amber Iman; Ato Blankson-Wood; Bandits on the Run; Brian Quijada; Broken Box Mime Theater; Cherrye J. Davis; Daniel J. Watts; Daniel Nayeri; Darius de Haas; David Farrell Melton; Ed Rosini; Griots in Concert; Hiroyuki Matsuura; Ike Holter; Ishita Jain; Jon Lampley; Jon Sands; Jose Llana; Kate Ferber; Kim Blanck; Kuhoo Verma; Le’Asha; Liana Stampur; Lydia Fine and Tony Blahd; Mahogany L. Browne; Mark Dover; Max Posner; Michael Thurber; Mike Brun; Mikhail Fiksel; Phil Kaye; PigPen Theatre Co.; Rajna Swaminathan; Rebecca Haff Lowry and David L. Haff; Rebecca Naomi Jones; Sara Porkalob; Sarah Kay; Savannah Harris; Shaina Taub; Stephanie Chou; Tessa Lark; Little Island community partner Westbeth: You’re Never Too Old To Play; The Westerlies; and more.

“The Storytelling Festival is a true culmination of our past decades journey and community building,” said PigPen Theatre Co., Artist-in-Residence. “We’ve had the good fortune of learning much and meeting many during our years performing at school festivals, music festivals, and theatre festivals. To build our own festival, a celebration of Storytelling in its many forms, with a partner as unique and wonderful as Little Island, is a dream come true.”

Co-curated by Little Island Artist-in-Residence Ayodele Casel and Torya Beard, the Dance Festival features tap artists, classical and contemporary Indian dance, African drumming, and more in a variety of performances. This park-wide takeover of percussive dance forms will fill Little Island’s spaces with joy and rhythms. The festival will celebrate National Dance Day on September 18th with the premiere of new work by four choreographers tapped by Ayodele Casel and Torya Beard and will culminate with a showcase of young and mature dancers and conversations that you won’t want to miss. The line-up includes Aaron Mattocks; The Afro-Latineers; Andre Imanishi; Barkha Patel; Brinae Ali & Sean Jones' Dizzy Spells Brinda Guha; Crystal Monee Hall; Danni Gee; Earl Mosely’s Diversity of Dance; Evidence, A Dance Company; House of Xtravaganza; Jared Alexander Sprague; Leo Manzari; Leonardo Sandoval & Music from the Sole; Maurice Chestnut’s Dance Therapy; Michela Marino Lerman’s LOVE MOVEMENT; Michiyaya Dance, Morgan James and Doug Wamble; MOVE|NYC|; Paradise Drummers; Rokafella; It’s Showtime NYC; Ted Louis Levy; Tomoe Carr; and more.

"We are overjoyed to have the opportunity to curate a festival centering percussive dance artists whose work is deeply rooted in unabashed cultural expression,” said Ayodele Casel, Artist-in-Residence, and Torya Beard, Dance Festival Co-curator. “We eagerly anticipate spending the week at Little Island celebrating dance, music, and the joy of being in community with each other and audiences in person again.”

For a full schedule of Storytelling Festival programming visit and for a full schedule of Dance Festival programming visit

Health and Safety Protocols for Ticketed Events

In accordance with current New York State and CDC guidelines, both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests can attend ticketed events. Unvaccinated visitors will be required to wear their masks when they cannot maintain 6-feet of distance from others. Children under the age of 2 are not required to wear a mask.


While the majority of the Storytelling and Dance programming can be experienced for free, several events hosted in The Amph will be ticketed. Through this distribution, we hope to make our shows as accessible to as many New Yorkers as possible—30% of tickets are distributed for free to Little Island’s non-profit partners including the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, Greenwich House, Hudson Guild, PS 33, The Door, and Westbeth; 40% of tickets will be sold at $25 and distributed through the Theatre Development Fund; and 30% of tickets will be sold through Little Island’s website at $65 for regular price and $25 for seniors and children. All tickets are general admission.

All tickets will be electronic/mobile-only and are available for purchase now by visiting and There will be no tickets available to reserve on-site. Your ticket also serves as your timed entry reservation to the park.

Savory Hospitality will serve local and responsibly sourced food and beverage daily from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. Little Island Food and Beverage is designed for all ages to explore the intersection between food and art in an environment that is welcoming, whimsical, playful, relaxing, and fun.

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About Little Island

Little Island is a new public park, primarily funded by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation with support from the City of New York, in Hudson River Park. The park features a lush, seasonal, landscape with rolling hills, walking paths and open lawns, and dazzling views of New York City. Little Island is one of the latest additions to the four-mile-long Hudson River Park, which runs from Chambers Street to W. 59th Street.

Little Island has a 687-seat amphitheater, an intimate stage for 200 visitors, and an open plaza, all designed to host a range of programming for all ages, from theater, dance, and music to food and beverage experiences to educational programs and community events. Little Island provides New Yorkers, and its visitors, with a unique urban oasis—a place for experiences that ignite imagination, foster spontaneity and play, and support camaraderie and connection.