Fringe Fest Closing Weekend: BANDALOOP will scale the building and breakdancers will face off at MLK Park


ROCHESTER, NY — The 2022 Fringe Festival will wrap up Saturday with some exciting acts, including performers scaling a downtown building, a breakdancing contest at MLK Park and an attempt to set a juggling world record.

The BANDALOOP dance number is one of 34 free numbers this weekend. BANDALOOP members will dance suspended by ropes from the side of the 21-story Five Star Plaza building on Friday and Saturday nights.

There were over 500 acts at this year’s Fringe Festival at over 30 venues across the city. The festival kicked off on September 13.

You can see the full range on the the festival website and get tickets here. You can also search over 125 free shows.

Here are some of the 34 free Friday and Saturday numbers:

  • BANDALOOP (Friday and Saturday): Pioneers of the vertical dance movement, California-based group BANDALOOP returns to the Fringe and the 21-story Five Star Plaza after captivating tens of thousands of spectators in 2012 and 2013. The internationally acclaimed company transforms the dance floor into a harmoniously weaving physique, intricate choreography and the art of climbing. BANDALOOP’s work has been presented in theaters and museums; on skyscrapers, bridges, billboards and historic sites; and on natural wonders around the world. Outside the Five Star Plaza
  • Fringe Street Beat (Saturday): The epic dance competition is back! Now in its seventh year, Fringe Street Beat is an all-out dance battle featuring top talent from across the Northeast, with emcee DJ ha-MEEN (Ithaca), DJ Victorious (Toronto) and a panel of judges including TEIN (last year’s champion, Buffalo), Bgirl Mantis (NYC) and Mai Le Ho (NYC). From breakdance to allstyle, teams bring their A game – and their adrenaline – to every breathtaking round, starting with the preliminary trials and leading to the final dance battle. At Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.
  • The greatest juggling lesson (Saturday): Take part in a world record experience! Join us on the top floor of the brand new Strong Museum of Play parking lot as we attempt to break the record for the biggest juggling lesson ever, led by juggling instructors Ted Baumhauer and Jeff Peden! This unique event is for everyone, from the youngest to the not so young! All participants will receive three commemorative juggling balls! At the parking lot of the Strong National Museum of Play
  • Howie’s Hound Dawgs + Kazoo Forum (Saturday): Escape the everyday with music and stories from around the world. Climb the Beanstalk with Howie Lester (two-time winner of the International Folk Music Film Festival). Fall off the beanstalk with the Kazoo Intergalactic Orchestra (please bring your own in case we don’t have enough for everyone). At the Little Theater
  • Vanessa Sweet – Amplified Feedback Loop (Friday and Saturday): Shown on the big screen of the RIT City Art Space (in the window facing Liberty Pole Plaza), this short film features looping metamorphic 2D animated vignettes that inform about the magnifying “domino effects” of climate change and community solutions . At RIT City Art Space

Here are some of the acts that require tickets:

  • Outgoing cells (Saturday): Hilarity ensues when two prisoners find themselves trapped in a medieval dungeon. Can they put aside their differences and work together to formulate a daring escape? Or will they choose to “retreat?” A one-act play by Richard Steele, directed by Philip Detrick. At Salena
  • concussion dance theater (Saturday): Inspired by stories and poetry, Commotion Dance Theater brings together movement, music, props and more for their new show! Ruben T. Ornelas presents “Mexican-American Purgatory,” an irreverent and absurd dance about being between and between cultures; and Laurie MacFarlane performs “Talespin,” a fast-paced mashup that reimagines characters from myth, folklore, and fairy tales. At the Multipurpose Community Cultural Center
  • At Home with Garth Fagan Dance (Friday and Saturday): Attendees will get a rare and intimate glimpse into Garth Fagan Dance as we re-emerge despite COVID. Meet new dancers performing Garth Fagan’s classical dance repertoire, including covers, new pieces and work in progress from Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and Bessie Award-winning rehearsal director Norwood” PJ” Pennewell. At the Garth Fagan Dance Studio
  • Earth, wind and circus (Friday and Saturday): Come one, come all to a show that portrays the importance of individuality and community! “Earth, Wind and Circus” follows two groups based in the late 70s: the Punks and the Funks. When Punks meet Funks, everything changes. At the Aerial Arts of Rochester
  • From broadway to dark (Friday and Saturday): A musical exploration of one man’s struggle to reach the top of his game, then the struggle to find his place once the game is over. Eric Gutman has made the transition from Jersey Boys Broadway star to suburban Michigan dad – now he’s sharing his extraordinary gifts with audiences in this thrilling concert experience that weaves together songs from musical theater and popular music, with behind-the-scenes glimpses at one of the biggest hits in Broadway history. At the School of Arts

Venues for the 12 Days of Fun include Ellison Park, the Geva Theatre, Mt. Hope Cemetery and Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall. This year, the Spiegeltent, at the corner of Main and Gibbs streets, is back.

Since its debut in 2012, the Global Series of Fringe Festivals has attracted over half a million visitors from around the world for thousands of performances and events. The not-for-profit Rochester Fringe Festival has become one of the largest and most successful fringe festivals in the country.

“It’s very exciting because we don’t have a central artistic committee that decides everything and that leaves a lot of artistic freedom and therefore there is something for everyone at the Fringe,” said Erica Fee, director of the Fringe Festival.

The festival has become known as “The Rochester Model” by over 200 fringe festivals around the world, as Rochester has attracted internationally acclaimed artists and features many free, outdoor acts.


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