World premiere of Scat! 

Some good ideas take a long time to gestate, but turn out to have been worth waiting for. One of those is the transformation of a former lumberyard in Catskill into a performing arts incubator to be known as the Lumberyard. It’s a process that started in early 2016, when a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit, then called the American Dance Institute, turned its gaze upon the Hudson Valley in search of more affordable quarters. Lumberyard aims to become “the only organization in the US dedicated to providing technical residencies that culminate in out-of-town premieres.”

The process of opening the Catskill campus for that purpose won’t be complete until the end of this year, so several nearby stages – including Hudson Hall, Club Helsinki and the Bridge Street Theatre – are pitching in to enable Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts to present its inaugural season, dubbed the Under Construction Summer Festival. It kicks off this weekend with the world-premiere performance of Scat! the latest work by Bessie, Capezio, Doris Duke and Dance Magazine award-winning choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder of the renowned contemporary dance troupe Urban Bush Women.

A dance-driven musical set in the 1940s and ’50s that takes place in a fictional nightclub, it will be performed in the very real-life Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday and Saturday, June 29 and 30 at 9 p.m. and on Sunday, July 1 at 7 p.m. With dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks, Scat! features an original jazz score composed by Craig Harris and performed live by Harris with a five-piece band and two vocalists.

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Lumberyard’s summer festival continues with Streb’s Singular Extreme Actions at the Lumberyard, July 6 to 8; Bridgman/Packer Dance’s Truck at the Lumberyard, July 13 and 14; d. Sabela Grimes at the Bridge Street Theatre, July 27 to 29; Jodi Melnick’s One of 65,000 Gestures/New Bodies at Hudson Hall, August 3 to 5; John Jasperse’s Hinterland at Hudson Hall, August 17 to 19; Ishmael Houston-Jones & Miguel Gutierrez performing Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd at Hudson Hall, August 24 to 26; and winds up on a high note with tapmeister Savion Glover at the Lumberyard on September 1 and 2.

For reservations to see Scat! call Club Helsinki at (518) 828-4800 or visit www.helsinkihudson.com. It’s located at 405 Columbia Street in Hudson. For more details on the Lumberyard’s Under Construction Summer Festival, visit https://bit.ly/2ysA22I.

Lumberyard presents Urban Bush Women’s Scat! Friday-Sunday, June 29-July 1, $35-$55, Club Helsinki, 405 Columbia Street, Hudson; (518) 828-4800, www.helsinkihudson.com.

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