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New York Daily Photo: Dance Parade
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Sunday, 20 May 2007

Dance Parade

The 2007 Dance Parade caught me (and many others) off guard - I had no idea this event was being held when I ran into it. I would deem it a tremendous success, given that it was a first annual, with cold weather and rain, which did not deter dancers or observers. The parade worked its way from 32nd Street down Broadway and Fifth Avenue to end in Washington Square Park. The floats turned off towards Sixth Avenue - dancers remained in the park where a stage was set up. Several hours of dancing ensued both on and off stage - a DJ provided music. The raison d'etre for the parade you may ask? From Dance Parade's vision statement: "To celebrate diversity as 'One Parade with Many Cultures' 49 genres are represented." Click here for a list and more info on their website. Although the parade was not a protest, there was also a political agenda for some - change or repeal of the city's cabaret law dating back to 1926 (enacted to restrict public lewdness and interracial mingling): any venue where 3 or more people where dancing and food or drink is served requires a cabaret license. The law has been more aggressively enforced since the 1990s where it has used to combat quality-of-life complaints and troublesome clubs. Difficult to obtain, only 69 establishments have cabaret licenses in Manhattan. Attendance along the parade route was light, but turnout in the park was huge, where participants along with gawkers filled the park plaza. Judging by this year's revelry, I think this parade will become very successful in the years to come...


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