Volume 76, Number 52 | May 23 -29, 2007

Villager photos by Milo Hess

Dancing in the streets

Last Saturday, more than 150 dance organizations and 8,000 individual performers joined forces to parade from 32nd St. and Broadway to Washington Square Park in the city’s first annual Dance Parade. The dancers’ goal was to show the world, and New York lawmakers, that dance is an expressive art form and should be legal in more venues around the city. The city’s Prohibition-era cabaret law currently bans dancing in premises that do not hold a cabaret license. According to Metropolis in Motion, a group advocating “freedom to dance” in New York City, amendments to the cabaret law have reduced the number of licensed, dance-friendly venues from 12,000 in 1961 to 244 a year ago, with this number dropping by 15 every three months. The group recently assisted Councilmember Alan Gerson in drafting a revision to the law that proposes that a license should not be required for clubs holding fewer than 200 people. The dance activists are also waging a battle in court to change the cabaret laws.

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