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Last September, during the Music is Art Festival in Delaware Park, dancers Nancy Hughes and Scott Slocum performed on boats floating in Hoyt Lake for spectators on the shore at the invitation of local artist David Butler. The improvised performance went over so well that the trio began planning a greatly expanded version of the piece, which will debut at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mutual Riverfront Park at the end of Hamburg Street.

“Grain Dances, Steel Floats,” the latest in a string of multi-arts events to use dance, drama, digital projections and the picturesque surroundings of industrial corridor along the Buffalo River as a kind of rusty canvas for creativity, aims to reacquaint Buffalonians with some of their forgotten history.

“Ultimately, the goal is to tell how Buffalo became a haven for the downtrodden; becoming a hardworking American city, a beacon for immigrants from around the world who rebuilt it after the British burned it to the ground 200 years ago,” Butler wrote in a release.

The production will feature an original soundtrack by Butler’s frequent collaborator David Kane. Actors and dancers will perform on land as well as in reproductions of 19th century boats floating in the Buffalo River.

The performances, at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, are free. Call 868-3435.

– Colin Dabkowski