Passage Theatre celebrates the land through dance, music, poetry in Trenton

This video is part of a series from New Jersey Arts News.

One-hundred acres of Trenton parkland designed by Frederick Law Olmstead came alive with dance, poetry, music, and environmental history during a recent creative collaboration entitled Dancescapes NJ. The multi-arts project was presented by Trenton-based Passage Theatre, in partnership with DanceSpora dance troupe, and the D&R Greenway Land Trust.

Passage Theatre producer Kacy O’Brien called the event an opportunity for Trenton citizens to “get to know Cadwalader Park in a different way,” as well as to reconnect with the land.

The centerpiece of the October 6 extravaganza was a new dance piece, Rapture For a Season, choreographed by Heidi Cruz-Austin, former dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet and co-founder of DanceSpora with husband David Austin. The work featured eight dancers accompanied by the young jazz quintet, ReBop, led by 16-year-old trumpeter Alonzo Ryan.

D&R Greenway Land Trust, named for the Delaware and Raritan canals and dedicated to preserving natural lands and encouraging environmental stewardship, has collaborated with Passage Theatre over four seasons.

“It’s really important to engage citizens, to make sure that all of them know the benefits of a good, clean, environment and standing public open space,” said D&R Greenway VP Jay Watson. “I spent a lot of time as a child in this park. “This park really shaped me and turned me into an environmentalist.”

The project included history walks, environmental walks, and a poetry reading by Pulitzer prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa.New Jersey Arts News provides lively general-interest segments for newscasts that connect viewers and listeners to arts and humanities activity in New Jersey and beyond. Stories are produced by an independent, creative team and funded by tax-deductible donations and grants.

New Jersey Arts News provides lively general-interest segments for newscasts that connect viewers and listeners to arts and humanities activity in New Jersey and beyond. Stories are produced by an independent, creative team and funded by tax-deductible donations and grants.

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