Battery Dance celebrates the 42nd Anniversary of its free summer festival from August 12-18, 2023, in partnership with Battery Park City Authority. The 42nd 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, with a rain date on 8/19. Reaching both local and international audiences, the Festival promotes Battery Dance’s mission of connecting the world through dance.
“When Super Storm Sandy flooded lower Manhattan, Battery Park City Authority reached out a helping hand, providing a beautiful site for the Battery Dance Festival which we’ve all enjoyed every summer since 2013. With the prospect of rising seas in future, BPCA is enacting a pro-active resiliency plan, lifting Wagner Park up to 12 feet, making it inaccessible this summer. But fear not! BPCA has invited us to move to Rockefeller Park this summer where we’ll benefit from the large lawn and river-front views, as we bask in the glow of performances by local and international companies.” – Jonathan Hollander, Founder and Artistic Director of Battery Dance
August 12, 2023 at Rockefeller Park
“This piece was originally created for a composition concert in my last year of college with the Fordham/Ailey BFA Program. It is significant because it tells the story of my brothers and me. I have three brothers and our bond is unbreakable. This piece reflects on my unique relationship with each brother and how I see them. My goal with every person that experiences this work is for them to think back on their own family (related by blood or not) and savor every moment with them.” -Marley Poku-Kankam
Taraana, a Kathak-Bharatanatyam collaboration, explores acceptance and coexistence. The duet presents two ancient Indian classical styles with rigid frameworks, conveying how open-mindedly embracing the other form leads to harmony onstage, without compromise of technical purity. Using the style of “jugalbandi” (interaction between the two dancers), the work portrays its broader theme: how welcoming different identities, while preserving tradition, can create a culturally rich, conflict-free society.
“My inspiration stemmed from the questions that we ask ourselves to facilitate growth and confront our trauma. We discussed as a group the meaning of existence, our place in society, and accepting that we have no control. We go through a journey of self-security that battles facades of ego and bravado. The dancers take us through a wave of development as a person. These are five separate entities that can also be seen as a collective. It’s about my process to self-realization, and becoming who I’ve always wanted to be, regardless of my past.” -Dareon Blowe
This piece encapsulates the experience of chaos in our everyday lives. Something is always happening; how do we deal with it? We can either stand alone and give into the inevitable weight of life or smile in the face of demands and stand together. At pivotal moments in life, we are left with these two options. Through this work we discover a lighthearted yet profound series of connections, perseverance and humor as we navigate our existence.
“This is my liberation. With music by my idol, Grace Jones, I was able to make something that can show the feelings that represent my life up until this moment. It’s a sort of autobiography: the story of my life in love. So I truthfully only made this for me, to find an understanding of my broken heart. It has no specific visual intention, just my juvenile instinct. So while it may be an ignorant and selfish display of my joys and sorrows, try and see your life in mine, as I am simply wearing my heart on my sleeve.” -Luke Biddinger
Cameron Kay’s most recent work Interface explores the dynamics of different energies—corporeal and conceptual—and how they interact in space. Featuring an original score composed in collaboration with Farai Malianga, Interface emphasizes how individual voices can shift space. The work visually embodies how the dancers’ bodies serve as vessels for potential and kinetic energy, how entities magnetize and repel and react to one another. The dancers play with the extremes of time, mass, and space, manipulating the bounds of forces and energy.
Krtaghna is an Indian-classical fusion piece that reflects on environmentalism. Krtaghna follows the story of Mother Earth caring for man and growing him with love, only for man to grow and exploit the five elements of the Earth. Mother Earth, battered and broken, has no choice but to destroy the Earth. This dance is a cautious warning to humans, urging people to be grateful to the Earth. Krtaghna utilizes traditional Indian classical elements of dance with a Western sound in its music, as well as the usage of English words and quotes.
This work explores the literal and figurative architecture between two human beings. How do we relate to or reject the commonality between our innate structures? How do we as human beings explore one another’s outlines, shadows, patterns and textures? What happens when two human beings with the same questions encounter one another? This piece researches the process of questioning and discovery.
What happens when we leave a zone of comfort? Do we break, or do we grow? What happens when we stay within comfort? Do we refine knowledge, or become dull from repeating information? An artist’s job is to always find comfort in new spaces, to enhance their mind and their artistry. However, becoming too comfortable can poison your appetite to grow. Patterns help us learn yet we must abandon them. The best way to move forward is to break the pattern. Otherwise, the pattern begins to rot.
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