See Sky-High Dance and More at This Year’s PVDFest

The four-day event is June 6 to June 9.
firstworks
Appearing at this year’s PVDFest is Italian dance group eVenti Verticali, who perform from a suspended stage. Courtesy of Firstworks and Eventi Verticali.

You rarely see the same thing twice at PVDFest’s street festival, which brings art in all its forms to Providence. Every time you turn a corner, there’s something unexpected. This year’s event, June 6 to 9, will be no different. Alongside Providence’s Department of Art, Culture and Tourism, FirstWorks — which is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary — curates many of the shocking, thrilling performances. Kathleen Pletcher, founder and executive artistic director of FirstWorks, created the organization in 2004, transforming Providence’s First Night New Year’s Eve celebration from a $15,000 one-night event into a $1.5 million year-round arts and education organization. FirstWorks’ mission is to bring the community together through the arts and help make it accessible to everyone. Through school programs and education initiatives, the nonprofit has brought music, dance and more to under-resourced schools in Rhode Island at little to no cost. But PVDFest is the time when FirstWorks can really show off. This year’s selection of performers hail from Italy, Uganda, Colombia, Gambia, Montreal and the United States. Stand-outs include the Italian group eVenti Verticali, which offers a suspended dance performance from a stage hanging from a construction crane; Syncopated Ladies, an all-female tap group from Los Angeles that’s going viral for its video tap salute to Beyonce; and Groupo Niche, a Pan-American salsa band that is known the world over. See a little or a lot over the four days, says Pletcher. “You can go at whatever pace you want. Everyone’s festival experience is different.” first-works.org; pvdfest.com

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