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Battery Dance presents The 43rd Annual Battery Dance Festival – In-Person and Via Livestream

Aug. 11 – 17, 7 – 9 pm,
Free
SOLE Defined_Photo by Steven Pisano

Battery Dance celebrates the 43rd Anniversary of its free summer festival from August 11-17, 2024 with a rain date on Sunday August 18, in partnership with Battery Park City Authority. The 43rd Annual Battery Dance Festival will feature in-person and live-streamed performances staged each night at Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City, New York City at 7PM ET. Reaching both local and international audiences, the Festival promotes Battery Dance’s mission of connecting the world through dance. For more information, visit batterydance.org/battery-dance-festival/.

Battery Dance Festival 2024 Performance Schedule:

(in chronological and alphabetical order; program subject to change)

Sunday, August 11: A’nó:wara Dance Theatre; Battery Dance; Focus Dance Company; Sun Kim Dance Theatre; Alexandra F. Light; McKoy Dance Project || MDP; wee dance company

Monday, August 12/Young Voices in Dance:

Andrea Agostini; Marshall Kahente Diabo; Carsyn Gekas; Zev Haworth, Hannah Howell; Malachi Kingston; Anna Lopez; Kailei Sin; Priscilla Tom; Chen-Jung Yeh

Tuesday, August 13: A’nó:wara Dance Theatre; AU.THENTICITY DANCE CO.; Julie Crothers; Focus Dance Company; Lucas Crew; wee dance company

Wednesday, August 14: Battery Dance; Carolyn Dorfman Dance; Lucas Crew; Rutkay Özpinar; Pori Dance Company

Thursday, August 15/India Day: Radhika Jha; Rajesh Sai Babu Mayurbhanj Chhau Group

Friday, August 16/FUTURE 400: Ballet Nepantla; Battery Dance; Capoeira Luanda NYC; FANIKE! African Dance Troupe; Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company; Rutkay Özpinar

Saturday, August 17: Buglisi Dance Theatre; Pony Box Dance Theatre; Pori Dance Company; T’Ana Selah; Wyatt Sutter & Charles Pierson

Battery Dance Festival, New York City’s longest-running free public dance festival, was established by Battery Dance as the Downtown Dance Festival in 1982. It draws in-person audiences of approximately 2,000 people each night from the large downtown population of workers, residents, families, tourists, senior citizens and dance fans from the greater NYC metropolitan area and beyond. The Festival went virtual in 2020, attracting 30,000 viewers across 206 countries. In 2021, it ran as a hybrid model with over 10,000 in-person and over 21,000 virtual audience members. Since 2023, the Festival has welcomed in-person and live-streamed audiences from its new home at Rockefeller Park.

There’s something about the sense of community, the sharing of cultures, the plethora of dance styles under the changing light from the late summer sky that invigorates the spirit every August. To our tried-and-true fans, we say ‘see you again soon!’ To newcomers, we look forward to surprising you with the beauty of Rockefeller Park and the delight of seeing phenomenal dance companies in the open-air setting,” said Jonathan Hollander, Founder and Artistic Director of Battery Dance.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS:

Young Voices in Dance celebrates the next generation of choreographers. The program highlights the intellectual curiosity, innovation, and artistic excellence of youth (ages 15 – 22) from around the world. Now in its fourth year, Young Voices in Dance will feature live performances with original works made and danced by a new roster of gifted young dance artists.

India Day: Known for its role in presenting the finest exponents of Indian classical dance on its outdoor stage for the past quarter-century, Battery Dance is proud to present Radhika Jha and Rajesh Sai Babu Mayurbhanj Chhau Group this summer, celebrating India’s Independence Day on August 15th. Radhika Jha is a performer of Odissi, the temple dance of the Eastern Indian State of Odisha. Her style, rarely seen in public fora, is that of the late Guru Surendranath Jena, turning well-known sculptural poses into movements. Mayurbhanj Chhau has rarely been seen in group presentations in the U.S. and with its vigorous jumps, spins and high kicks contrasted with subtle movements of the torso and shoulder, Rajesh Sai Babu Mayurbhanj Chhau Group’s performance is sure to rivet the audience.  

FUTURE 400, an initiative of the Netherlands Consulate General of New York, endeavors to honor 400 years of Dutch-New York history with honesty and integrity, while simultaneously aiming to be a catalyst directly impacting the next 400 years, ensuring a more equitable ideal for a truly shared history through partnerships among Dutch and American institutions. As part of Future 400, Battery Dance has partnered with the Dutch Consulate in commissioning a new work by Turkish-Dutch choreographer Rutkay Özpınar that will be given its world premiere at the festival. In addition, this special evening will feature dance artists from the rich array of immigrant communities in New York City.

2024 FESTIVAL ARTISTS (roster subject to change):

Sunday August 11:

A’nó:wara Dance Theatre (Montréal, Canada)

Hoop Dance and Where Do We Meet?, US premieres

Hoop Dance: The hoop dance is an Indigenous dance that has been shared across powwows all over Turtle Island (North America). It is a dance where the dancer tells stories by weaving intricate shapes from nature and life with multiple hoops. There is also a healing aspect to this dance and reminds us to stay connected with our natural world. Where Do We Meet: Two generations, the past and future. The strength of our Indigenous traditions; their reach into our future. Joined by blood, joined by culture. How do we move forward to the future without losing our past? Can this bond overcome space and time? Two Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) dancers – mother and son – find connection through the timeless transmission of dance. Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of Canada in New York, the Québec Government Office in New York, and Canada Council for the Arts.

Battery Dance (NYC)

Howling Steppers (working title), World premiere

Battery Dance world premieres Howling Steppers (working title) by choreographer Rutkay Özpinar, created in Summer 2024 as part of the FUTURE 400 program, an initiative of the Netherlands Consulate General in New York. Additional sponsorship provided by the Netherland-America Foundation.

Focus Dance Company (Taipei, Taiwan)

Self Portrait, US premiere

In Self Portrait, choreographer Tsai Hsi Hung explores the theme of “unconventional beauty.” The piece shows that beauty exists where we least expect it. The movement is influenced by Hung’s study of Chinese folk dance, Tai Chi, calligraphy, and abstract painters, such as Jackson Pollock. These elements fuse with a contemporary dance aesthetic to create a modern interpretation of these elements. The performance space is shaped by the emotions of the dancers. Sometimes the dancers connect with each other to emphasize these patterns, but other times, they each get lost in their inner world. As their witnesses, the audience is forced to confront and contemplate traditional representations of beauty. Sponsorship provided by the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

Sun Kim Dance Theatre (NYC)

Lost and Found

Lost and Found is a captivating production by Sun Kim Dance Theatre that explores the journey of losing hope and the internal struggle to fill that void. Through spoken word and popping-based storytelling, this innovative piece invites the audience to embark on a voyage of self-realization, discovering what they have lost and allowing it to find its way back to them.

Alexandra F. Light (Fort Worth, TX)

Inimical Architecture, World premiere

Inimical Architecture is a pas de deux that examines the human relationship to nature and vice versa.

McKoy Dance Project || MDP (NYC)

Love, Nina, NYC premiere

Love, Nina is a solo work set to the haunting and rhythmic sounds of Nina Simone. Built in two sections, Love, Nina embodies femininity, heartbreak, struggle for strength, and readiness for a new future. A letter to all women, Love, Nina gets its name from Ms. Simone, who comically signed a letter she scribed to Langston Hughes. In this letter, Nina admired Hughes for his important work and explains how he inspired powerful emotions within her.

wee dance company (Görlitz, Germany)

De Torrente and Happily Ever After, US premieres

De torrente is a simple, personal encounter with the flow of water and time, whose inspiration comes from Handel’s Dixit Dominus, verse 7 of Psalm 110: “He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.” Happily Ever After: Since childhood, we are inundated with fairy tales about how we will eventually find and marry our soulmate; then the story goes: “…and they lived happily ever after.” In adulthood, we are convinced that we were promised this happy ending. Yet, how many opportunities for happiness right under our noses do we miss by looking beyond them in constant search for that non-existent, promised dream partner? Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York and Goethe-Institut New York 

Monday August 12/Young Voices in Dance:

Andrea Agostini (Philadelphia, PA)

Los Lobos, World premiere

“My ideas are centered around the wolf pack and the roles it enforces. I am interested in building a world of playful survival, a survival that needs curiosity and community to thrive. Each dancer embodies multiple roles of the pack, relating and rationalizing with each other through different scenarios. The movement is inspired by a sense of leadership, playing, biting, and heightened awareness. How do these animalistic roles find themselves within a human body? Are their experiences more similar to us than we imagine?”

Marshall Kahente Diabo (Montréal, Canada)

tasseomancy, World premiere

A dance piece reflecting the inner workings of a mind, filled with mugs of tea. Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of Canada in New York, the Québec Government Office in New York, and Canada Council for the Arts.

Carsyn Gekas (NYC)

MODEL 35737

MODEL 35737 explores what it means to appear in a successful operating system but internally function as a deconstructed broken circuit. Through extreme physicality and risk, the dancers created a world that challenges ideas of grandiosity. They researched themes of neglect, getting hurt by providing aid, being forcefully pulled into a system, and a desire to be understood. The carpet symbolizes the functionality seen from the outside, while shedding aspects of destruction within. Ultimately, what it defines is left for the audience to discover.

Zev Haworth (NYC)

To be Made Human, World premiere

This piece is an exploration of the human inclination to cycle between community and individuality – expressed with transitions in and out of unison, canon and counterpoint. It discusses the difference between group and individual identity, and is an experiment in “organized chaos,” and how the human condition is one of perpetually shifting ground.

Hannah Howell (Bloomfield, NJ)

beyond the misery of today (wake)

“This work was created following my dad’s passing in 2020 to commemorate my parents’ beautiful 30-year marriage. The work remains deeply personal, but in the process of creating it, I found that I wanted it to resonate with anyone who has experienced grief from losing someone – whether that be through death, incarceration, or simply just the end of a meaningful relationship. The title of the work is meant to convey that, beyond the grief, there is joy and love. The work is also a vigil for those we have lost.”

Malachi Kingston (NYC)

Feels like Home (working title), World premiere

A world premiere work by 18 year old Malachi Kingston.

Anna Lopez (NYC)

On Exhaust, NYC premiere

On Exhaust is a study on exhaustion. Specifically, when we are bottomed out, past the brink of exhaustion, what is it that picks us up and keeps us pushing forward? The piece is heavily inspired by the way dancers experience this, although the human experience of exhaustion is universal. When we are completely burnt out, and see no end in sight, what is it that shifts us into third gear? On Exhaust explores and gives that answer.

Kailei Sin (NYC)

who, what, when, where, and why?

who, what, when, where, and why? is an exploration of the multifaceted being of one person’s mind and the many ways it can change at the drop of a hat: from an unexpected noise or distracting visual, to the various thoughts racing through the mind at any given moment. What happens when we get stuck in a pattern or form a habit? How do we break it, or is it even worth breaking? This work approaches these themes and ideas with a silly seriousness, playing with satire, humor, and breaking of the 4th wall.

Priscilla Tom (NYC)

Cue – Routine – Reward (I)

An exhibition of our habit loops. The neurological routes that govern us unconsciously. Driven through triggers and cultivating cravings. The willpower it takes to change what is ingrained.

The soundscape of Cue – Routine – Reward (I) was crafted alongside the movement, giving space to generate patterns in silence and true inspiration from the dancers. While a majority of Priscilla’s work is based on improvisational scores, when embarking on this piece, she began with sound creation.

Chen-Jung Yeh (Taipei, Taiwan)

Rugged Road, US premiere

Success comes through failure. As you attain higher accomplishments and status, the land on which you step becomes far more dirt trodden. Sometimes you cannot even breathe naturally. But remember, you came here of your own free will. Sponsorship provided by the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

Tuesday August 13:

A’nó:wara Dance Theatre (Montréal, Canada)

Hoop Dance and Where Do We Meet?, US premieres

Hoop Dance: The hoop dance is an Indigenous dance that has been shared across powwows all over Turtle Island (North America). It is a dance where the dancer tells stories by weaving intricate shapes from nature and life with multiple hoops. There is also a healing aspect to this dance and reminds us to stay connected with our natural world. Where Do We Meet: Two generations, the past and future. The strength of our Indigenous traditions; their reach into our future. Joined by blood, joined by culture. How do we move forward to the future without losing our past? Can this bond overcome space and time? Two Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) dancers – mother and son – find connection through the timeless transmission of dance. Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of Canada in New York, the Québec Government Office in New York, and Canada Council for the Arts.

AU.THENTICITY DANCE CO. (Costa Mesa, CA)

001 – it came out of nowhere, NYC premiere

Music artist Giant Claw developed a variety of sounds into one album that plays different channels like a television changing its shows. This work researches these spontaneous sounds and develops a variety of movement vocabulary through them. This work is also inspired by the choreographer’s ADHD which has various thoughts and emotions that can be exuded throughout the day randomly.

Julie Crothers (Berkeley, CA)

Secondhand, NYC premiere

Secondhand is a solo exploration of the dancer’s current and past relationships to her prosthetic arms, as well as their purpose, both practically and abstractly. It utilizes striking imagery and contemporary dance to share a story of coming to know one’s self.

Focus Dance Company (Taipei, Taiwan)

Self Portrait, US premiere

In Self Portrait, choreographer Tsai Hsi Hung explores the theme of “unconventional beauty.” The piece shows that beauty exists where we least expect it. The movement is influenced by Hung’s study of Chinese folk dance, Tai Chi, calligraphy, and abstract painters, such as Jackson Pollock. These elements fuse with a contemporary dance aesthetic to create a modern interpretation of these elements. The performance space is shaped by the emotions of the dancers. Sometimes the dancers connect with each other to emphasize these patterns, but other times, they each get lost in their inner world. As their witnesses, the audience is forced to confront and contemplate traditional representations of beauty. Sponsorship provided by the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York.

Lucas Crew (Daegu, South Korea)

Mio Maria, World premiere

My life is a bit bitter.

It’s so bitter. I can’t sleep well at night.

I miss, I feel lonely and angry.

I just wanted a little bit more bitter night to make my life sweet.

I wanted to be happy.

I wanted to achieve everything I wanted without losing myself.

There were hard days.

I was nervous and afraid at times How did he hold out?”

wee dance company (Görlitz, Germany)

De Torrente and Happily Ever After, US premieres

De torrente is a simple, personal encounter with the flow of water and time, whose inspiration comes from Handel’s Dixit Dominus, verse 7 of Psalm 110: “He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.” Happily Ever After: Since childhood, we are inundated with fairy tales about how we will eventually find and marry our soulmate; then the story goes: “…and they lived happily ever after.” In adulthood, we are convinced that we were promised this happy ending. Yet, how many opportunities for happiness right under our noses do we miss by looking beyond them in constant search for that non-existent, promised dream partner? Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York and Goethe-Institut New York.

Wednesday August 14:

Battery Dance (NYC)

Happy to be alive with you., World Premiere

Battery Dance will present its second world premiere at this year’s festival: Happy to be alive with you., by choreographer Dolly Sfier, created at a residency at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY in Spring 2024.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance (Union, NJ)

WAVES

CDD commissioned virtuoso musicians Cellist Jessie Reagen Mann, Beat Boxer and Shahi Baaja player Pete List and multiple recorder player Daphna Mor to create this work. In WAVES, Dorfman et al worked simultaneously in the studio to explore multi-faceted aspects of “waves.” Together they create a rich dialogue; a sensation-based exploration of sound and motion.

Lucas Crew (Daegu, South Korea)

Mio Maria, World premiere

My life is a bit bitter.

It’s so bitter. I can’t sleep well at night.

I miss, I feel lonely and angry.

I just wanted a little bit more bitter night to make my life sweet.

I wanted to be happy.

I wanted to achieve everything I wanted without losing myself.

There were hard days.

I was nervous and afraid at times How did he hold out?”

Rutkay Özpinar (Den Haag, Netherlands)

Something about Something, US premiere

In Something about Something, three dancers share a story leaving everything up to the audience’s perception and imagination. What does a creation say and what is the message behind it? Dance and a creation speak for themselves as art, and the magic lies in the wonder that cannot be expressed in words. Sponsorship provided by Dutch Culture USA.

Pori Dance Company (Pori, Finland)

Songs, US premiere

Songs is a love letter to dancing together. The work, which talks about gentleness and the beauty of trying again, creates a meeting place for memories and dreams for dancers in different stages of life, some of whom have worked together for decades, some of whom have just met. Songs is an attempt to be brave without any aim of provocation. The courage of the piece is by nature quiet, revealing and listening to others. In the songs of Songs, life rings with all its longings, loves and losses. For them, we have been looking for a dance where emotion has room to live. A dance that doesn’t really say anything, and yet it has everything. Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of Finland in New York.

Thursday August 15/India Day:

Radhika Jha (NYC/Delhi, India)

Radhika Jha is a performer of Odissi, the temple dance of the Eastern Indian State of Odisha. Her style, rarely seen in public fora, is that of the late Guru Surendranath Jena, turning well-known sculptural poses into movements. Radhika has honed his choreography to bring out the elements that make it distinctive – abrupt rhythm changes, the use of spoken language, the integration of nritta (pure dance) and abhinaya (acting/storytelling).

Rajesh Sai Babu Mayurbhanj Chhau Group (Noida, India)

Mayurbhanj Chhau has rarely been seen in group presentations in the U.S., with its vigorous jumps, spins and high kicks contrasted with subtle movements of the torso and shoulders. This special program will in part feature dances dedicated to Nataraj, Lord of Dance, and Kshetriya, India’s ancient heroic warriors. Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of India in New York and State Bank of India in New York.

Friday August 16/FUTURE 400:

Ballet Nepantla (NYC)

Nacimiento (Excerpts)

Matlachines: The Matlachines dance for a deeper religious purpose, to venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe. This dance is traditionally performed every December 12th, commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin in 1531. Buscapiés: Look carefully, don’t confuse / between what is good or bad / because demons abound / in the terrestrial world. Listen to him zapatear / resonates like a horse / I saw goat hooves / and houndstooth. Chinito Koy Koy: A celebratory, traditional dance from the state of Yucatán, Mexico

Battery Dance (NYC)

Howling Steppers (working title)

Battery Dance premieres Howling Steppers (working title) by choreographer Rutkay Özpinar, created in Summer 2024 as part of the FUTURE 400 program, an initiative of the Netherlands Consulate General in New York. Additional sponsorship provided by the Netherland-America Foundation.

Capoeira Luanda NYC (NYC)

Capoeira Luanda, World Premiere

This performance celebrates several key elements of Brazilian culture. The main section is Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that develops the art of fighting like dance and dance like fighting, through the rhythm of live music. Part two incorporates Maculele, an Afro-Brazilian stick-dance from Bahia. The third installment culminates with Samba de Roda, a form of samba from northeast of Brazil.

FANIKE! African Dance Troupe (NYC)

UPLIFTED!

UPLIFTED! represents the eternal desire of people for healing, strength and to be uplifted during their life journey. UPLIFTED! shares the story of many people as they pull on their ancient history and culture to request, gather and then release the healing back into the universe.

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company (NYC)

Peacock under the Moonlight and Long Spear Dance

Peacock under the Moonlight: The peacock is considered a sacred bird among the Dai people in the Yunnan province. Because of the performer’s supreme grace and elegance as a peacock, this dance is one of the most beautiful from that region. Long Spear Dance combines the beauty and grace of Chinese opera technique with the excitement of Kung Fu. A young warrior prepares to go onto the battlefield to defend his homeland. Even as he displays his concentration and strength, he is determined to keep the peace.

Rutkay Özpinar (Den Haag, Netherlands)

Something about Something, US premiere

In Something about Something, three dancers share a story leaving everything up to the audience’s perception and imagination. What does a creation say and what is the message behind it? Dance and a creation speak for themselves as art, and the magic lies in the wonder that cannot be expressed in words. Sponsorship provided by Dutch Culture USA.

Saturday August 17:

Buglisi Dance Theatre (NYC)

Suns and Future Imaginings

Suns and Future Imaginings explores the theme that all human beings are connected regardless of race, gender, religion, or cultural heritage. Buglisi takes inspiration from Adrienne Maree Brown’s writings on interdependence and the healing, transformative power found in communal collaboration and ritual practice. Home is within you; in the future we will recognize this profound understanding, illuminating our place in the world, in finding true happiness in knowing ourselves through the mystery and miracle that is life.

Pony Box Dance Theatre (NYC)

masc4mask

Mask4masc explores issues around masculinity and identity, based on personal and collective experiences.

Pori Dance Company (Pori, Finland)

Songs, US premiere

Songs is a love letter to dancing together. The work, which talks about gentleness and the beauty of trying again, creates a meeting place for memories and dreams for dancers in different stages of life, some of whom have worked together for decades, some of whom have just met. Songs is an attempt to be brave without any aim of provocation. The courage of the piece is by nature quiet, revealing and listening to others. In the songs of Songs, life rings with all its longings, loves and losses. For them, we have been looking for a dance where emotion has room to live. A dance that doesn’t really say anything, and yet it has everything. Sponsorship provided by the Consulate General of Finland in New York. 

T’Ana Selah (Ames, IA)

Bruised Heel

Bruised Heel offers a poignant glimpse into choreographer T’Ana Selah’s deeply personal journey with suffering and hope. This multidisciplinary work brings to life a story of harmony, betrayal, and wisdom through the expressive mediums of music and words, anchored in the fusion of traditional Colombian and Contemporary dance.

Wyatt Sutter & Charles Pierson (Chicago, IL)

How are we boundless? Where are we free?, NYC premiere

This work explores ideas of body and identity-based freedom and connection, and the spaces and places that allow us to feel free through music and dance. As a trio (two Dancers and a DJ), the creators explore the relationship between House and Vogue aesthetics in both music and movement, discovering the ways they can be in relationship while diving into ideas of belonging, power dynamics, and modes of support. This piece is an ode to the Black and Brown Queer People who have created and sustained these House and Ball Cultures and Spaces.

ABOUT BATTERY DANCE

As one of America’s leading cultural ambassadors, Battery Dance connects the world through dance. The Company pursues artistic excellence and social relevance by creating vibrant new works, performing on the world’s stages, presenting dance in public spaces, serving the field of dance and teaching people of all ages with special attention to the disadvantaged and areas of conflict. Battery Dance is committed to enhancing the cultural vibrancy of its home community in New York City, extending programming throughout the U.S., and building bridges worldwide through international cultural exchange with programs in 70 countries to date. Battery Dance created the Downtown Dance Festival, an annual outdoor summer festival in 1982, to make exceptional dance available free-of-charge within its home community of lower Manhattan where it was founded in 1976. Now renamed Battery Dance Festival, it has been presented in partnership with the Battery Park City Authority since 2013. www.batterydance.org.

SUPPORT FOR THE 2024 BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL

Battery Park City Authority is Battery Dance’s partner in presenting the annual Battery Dance Festival. Public Funds have been contributed by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; and New York City Council member Christopher Marte’s Office. Generous support has been provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Consulate General of Canada in New York, Dutch Culture USA, the Consulate General of Finland in New York, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York, Goethe-Institut New York, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, The Consulate General of India in New York, the Netherland-America Foundation, the Québec Government Office in New York, the Shubert Foundation, Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, the State Bank of India in New York, the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, Weill Cornell Medicine, and many individual donors.

Location:

Chambers St. & River Terrace
New York, NY 10282 United States