Brooklyn, you dont want to miss this!
Beginning Saturday, May 7, and continuing every weekend through June 12, Brooklyn will receive a rare and ethereal treat: At dusk, a massive flock of homing pigeons will ascend into the sky over the Brooklyn Navy Yard to present a breathtaking light show like none other.
The weekly event entitled, Fly By Night, is taking place Fridays through Sundays. This unprecedented performance is sponsored by Creative Timethe same creative arts organization that brought Brooklyn Kara Walkers Sugar Baby and Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklynand is the brainchild of professional bird trainer Duke Riley.
Tiny LED lights will be attached to every birds legs, and at the call of a whistle, the birds will take flight in what is a well orchestrated and beautifully choreographed dance across the sky above the East River!
Riley, the birds trainer, said the pigeons do not see the performance as work, but instead, a fun way to exercise and spread their wings, so to speak. He understands them, as he is a bird-whisperer of sorts, beginning in his childhood when he first rescued and rehabilitated a pigeon in his hometown of Providence, RI, and the pigeon kept coming back to visit him.
As an adult and an artist in the 80s, he used to paint pictures of street pigeons. And then he met a friend who actually grew up homing pigeons. Hanging out with his friend, he started learning about the art.
Later, in the early 90s, Riley would decide to actually move into a pigeon coop, a 10 X 10 hut on top of a buildings roof, where he ended up living for four years, And thats when I started taking [pigeon training] seriously, he said.
I moved in because, at the time, rent was only $25 a month, and it had a nice view. I had a desk and a little cot up there, and ran electricity.
Riley moved to Brooklyn in 1997 and years later, connected with Creative Time.
Ive always been very impressed by all of the projects they do; all of the artists they work with are doing really interesting stuff, said Riley. So I called them up and told them I was working on this idea. They connected with the Navy Yard and made it possible.
The iconic Brooklyn Navy Yard was the ideal setting for Rileys project, as it was once home to the countrys largest naval fleet of pigeon carriers. Fly By Night reflects back on the largely forgotten culture of homing pigeons through this beautiful and fascinating tribute.
*Note: General admission tickets are fully reserved. For a chance to see a performance, you can join the wait list. To ensure a ticket, become a member of Creative Time and youll get two tickets to the Fly By Night performance of your choice (excluding opening weekend)!**
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