Article: TIMES-LEDGER - "Silent Disco Is Big Hit; Movie Up Next for LIC" (Excerpt)

Silent disco draws a large crowd to Hunters Point South Park for dancing under the stars.  

By Bill Parry

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The verdict is in and silent disco is a hit.

More than 1,200 dancers took part in the first-time event at the new Hunter Point South Park in Long Island City Friday night.

Lincoln Center organized the night of dancing under the stars as part of its Lincoln Center Local, which brings world-class productions and entertainment directly to communities citywide. It became the first organization to provide public programming at the waterfront park.

“It was a beautiful night in a wonderful spot,” Lincoln Center spokeswoman Kate Merlino said. “There were so many people having such a great time and we’d certainly be interested in bringing more events to Queens in the future, absolutely.”

Silent disco became popular in Britain over the last decade and it is beginning to catch on in the United States. Each dancer rents head phones and listens to different music played by two DJs.

The three-hour party took place at the event space on the East River administered by LIC Landing by Coffeed, whose founder Frank Raffaele was thrilled with the turnout.

“Not just the huge crowd of dancers, but there was a thousand more who came to watch them dance to music you wouldn’t hear,” he said. “It was phenomenal, a real blast, and a great use of the space.”

Borough President Melinda Katz planned the event with City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Jackson Heights).

“It was so much fun and it’s great that we were able to bring an event like that to Queens,” Katz said. “The park is a wonderful space with great views of Manhattan. It was just a great way to show off what Queens has to offer, and for once we gave the folks in Manhattan something to look at! It was a win-win for everyone.”

And it’s not the final event of the summer at the waterfront park. On Saturday night, the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy will host its first outdoor movie night with a screening on the Academy Award-nominated film “Julie & Julia” starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci.

“It’s the perfect film to show because it’s so connected to Long Island City,” Rob Basch, the conservancy’s director of events, said. “It was filmed on the streets of Long Island City and it was inspired by one of our residents, Julie Powell.”