EVENT: Battery Dance Festival - August 11th to August 18th (8.6.18)
The annual Battery Dance Festival is almost here! Established by Battery Dance in 1982 as the Downtown Dance Festival, the Battery Dance Festival is New York City’s longest-running free public dance festival. Each year, the Festival draws a combined audience of over 12,000 people. We spoke with event organizer Jonathan Hollander to learn more about the festival, coming to Battery Park August 11th through the 18th...
Tell us about Battery Dance Festival...
Though Battery Dance is well-known for its role as one of America's leading cultural ambassadors overseas, our commitment to our lower Manhattan home remains unwavering, and is best exemplified by our 37 years of presenting free dance performances of all genres for the downtown public and visitors.
What makes the Battery Dance Festival so unique... So many factors contribute to the Festival's uniqueness. Most obvious is the setting at Wagner Park with the stunning vista of the Hudson, the Statue of Liberty, the immense sky and the amazing array of dancers from here at home and many countries around the world. In an age that in many ways seems rife with conflict, seeing a huge crowd comprising diversity of all kinds partaking of exquisite dance is literally a breath of fresh air.
What's new for Battery Dance Festival this year?
For the first time ever, we are opening the festival on a Saturday, before all of the wonderful live performances take the stage; and this time, with a film screening of the much lauded Moving Stories, a full-length documentary produced by Wilderness Films, that chronicles the way that dance can unlock creativity and heal wounds in India, Iraq, Romania and South Korea. In this way, we are sharing Battery Dance's Dancing to Connect program and our worldwide impact with our downtown audience.
What can locals expect to see at the Battery Dance Festival?
Come every night and witness dance companies known and unknown, waiting to be discovered or savored anew. Where else can you see dancers from Botswana, Canada, Gabon, India, Spain, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, and a bouquet of local talents gracing one stage --- and all for free??!!
What are the times for this year's event?
August 11th – 8pm – 9:30pm
August 12 – 17th: 7pm – 9pm
August 18th : 6pm – 8pm
What is your favorite part of the Battery Dance Festival?
I love seeing the expressions of rapt attention on the face of audience members and their vocal response to the performances -- and who cannot love seeing the little kids and seniors all joining in the 'Everybody Dance Now' segments at the end of each performance??
What are your go-to spots below Canal Street?
love the restaurants and cafes that populate Tribeca -- where you can get some of the city's best Indian food (Tamarind and Salaam Bombay), Northern Italian (Petrarca), Korean (Kori). I have to give a shout out to Anton and the staff at Rag & Bone Tribeca for their community spirit and to Fran & the friendly staff at Gourmet Garage on Broadway and Franklin for the same. The landscaping along the river has transformed the waterfront for the enjoyment of all; and Warrie Price's remake of Battery Park is astonishing and points to what one person and a bevy of supporters can do to make the city a great place to live, work and just hang out.