May 26, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Astoria’s inaugural International Culture Fest will bring folk dances and music from across the globe to a single stage on Saturday.
The free festival is hosted by the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition and made possible through funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Councilman Costa Constantinides. The program runs from noon to 5 p.m. in Astoria Park on the Great Lawn, according to Central Astoria LDC executive director.
Eleven groups will perform a wide range of dances and songs, from Italian songs to Irish jigs to Romanian, Bangladeshi, Ecuadorian and Mexican dances.
Performers include the Calpulli Mexican dance company, singer Issa Cabrera performing songs from Brazil, the Japanese Folk Dance institute of New York, the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance and Dahdoo playing songs from North Africa and the Middle East.
Groups will take the stage one by one, with brief intermissions between performances.
Torniali said that with its multitude of ethnic groups, Astoria is “a natural host for this type of event.”
“We hope that we can build on this in future years,” she added. “We’re only having 11 [nationalities represented], so in future years, we’d like to get to all of them, 10 or 11 at a time.”