Lincoln Center is opening NYC’s largest outdoor dance floor this summer

Lincoln Center is about to reclaim summer!

A giant outdoor dance floor is coming to Josie Robertson Plaza for a season of free dance, music and performance as part of Lincoln Center’s second iteration of its Restart Stages program.

Lincoln Center stunned New Yorkers last summer when it opened a massive lawn, The Green, to host its free performances (under Restart Stages). Now, building on last year’s success, “Summer for the City” will include 300 artistic and civic activations across 10 outdoor stages.

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Of the stages, “The Oasis” will be the city’s largest outdoor dance floor with a massive 10-foot disco ball. Costume and set designer Clint Ramos will create a blue, mural/installation with a sea of mirrors that reflect performers and dancers who will move to live music, silent discos, adapted dance lessons, dance parties, salsa, swing, soul and more under lighting designs by Andrew Grant. The dance floor will be free and open to the public during the day in case you’d like to take a mid-day dance break.

There will also be a mini film festival from Film at Lincoln Center projected at the “Outdoor Cinema” in front of the under-renovation David Geffen Hall. Those who attend will get popcorn and drinks with movie audio transmitted via Quiet Event headphones.

Silent Disco Access Magic
Photograph: courtesy Access Magic, Lincoln Center

Following the hot trend of speakeasies in the city, “The Speakeasy” will be tucked under the driveway at the front southeast corner of campus. It’s a pop-up bar designed by Clint Ramos set up for comedy, spoken word, poetry, jazz, and cabaret performances.

Over the course of the summer, there will be hundreds of free performances that reflect the theme: “Rejoice, Reclaim, Remember.” 

“One of the most basic jobs of the arts is to help heal. This summer we will do exactly that, with moments to rejoice, reclaim, and remember within a city transformed,” said Shanta Thake, the Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer of LCPA. “This season is rooted in our fundamental programming values: offering artistic and civic programs reflective of the City of New York, a majority of them free; prioritizing collaboration and first asking artists and their communities what they want from Lincoln Center; being a home for experimentation; and inviting New Yorkers to actively participate in what we will create together.”

“Rejoice,” which calls for the public to celebrate and let loose after a tough period of time, will feature a large-scale singalong from Sing New York, the Young People’s Chorus of New York, Francisco J. Núñez and conductor Elizabeth Núñez; social dance and classes at The Oasis dance floor including salsa, swing, bachata, merengue, soul, and more; Pride month events including the Mini Kiki Ball with BAAD! Bronx Academy of Dance, National Queer Theater, ULTRA PRIDE!! presented in collaboration with Peace Bisquit, and The Future Perfect Project; tribute concerts for the Notorious B.I.G., Larry Levan and the famous nightclub, Paradise Garage. In addition, BAAND Together Dance Festival will come back for the second year with Ballet Hispánico, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem.

“Reclaim,” is a call to recover of some of the traditions and rituals that were taken away over the past couple of years, and will include a series of interactive and sculptural installations across the campus by artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya entitled “GATHER;” “Celebrate LOVE: A (Re)Wedding” on July 10, where couples whose weddings were canceled or diminished due to the pandemic can take their vows together with live music, a “second dance,” desserts and a reception on the dance floor; “QUINCE en la Plaza” celebrates a Quinceañera, with an evening-long celebration; a site-specific, evening-long performance commemorating Juneteenth at Harlem Stage with an installation at Park Avenue Armory; and “Songs for the Living,” a singalong led by Toshi Reagon that includes excerpts from Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower, her opera inspired by the prescient novel of the same name.

Finally, “Remember,” which offers space to recognize losses and collectively heal, will showcase two versions of Mozart’s “Requiem”: the original within the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and the new, with A.I.M by Kyle Abraham and composer Jlin that will be an electronic opus that memorializes ritual and rebirth for the New York premiere of “Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth.” Jazz at Lincoln Center will also lead a “second line” processional to Lincoln Center like the New Orleans tradition to mourn and celebrate lives lost.

There will be free entry to all “Summer for the City” performances and events at Damrosch Park, The Oasis on Josie Robertson Plaza, the David Rubenstein Atrium, The Deck, Hearst Plaza, and The Speakeasy on Jaffe Drive as general admission on first-come, first-served basis. There will be a free advance reservation option for certain events at Damrosch Park, The Oasis and Hearst Plaza. Tickets for performances in Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Theater will be available on a Choose-What-You-Pay basis. You can book these at

The Speakeasy at Lincoln Center
Photograph: Yusong Shi, courtesy Lincoln Center

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