CULTURE: Battery Dance Festival - August 11 - 17 (6.10.19)
The annual Battery Dance Festival is back and better than ever! Battery Dance, New York City’s longest-running public dance festival, will celebrate the 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival from August 11-17, 2019. We spoke with Natalia Mesa, Battery Dance Festival Manager, to learn more about what you can expect this year…
Tell us about the Battery Dance Festival...
The Battery Dance Festival is New York City’s longest-running public dance festival,established on 1982 by Jonathan Hollander.
This year in association with Battery Park City Authority, Battery Dance will celebrate the 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival from August 11-17, 2019. We will have six nights of free performances outdoors at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park in Battery Park City ( 7pm- 9 pm ) and one final performance on August 17, at The Schimmel Center at Pace University (6pm-8pm). This final performance will include the best of our international lineup, in addition to Battery Dance performing The Red Line from choreographer Tadej Brdnik.
What makes the Battery Dance Festival so unique?
Every year the Battery Dance Festival pursues the goal of presenting the most culturally diverse dance Festival in the City with artists representing communities from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Through this, the Festival seeks to celebrate our shared humanity and to develop cross cultural understanding and appreciation. In addition, to this, the Festival is committed to support emerging artists by providing a platform to talents on the verge of breakthrough.
What is new for Battery Dance Festival in 2019?
The lineup this year is very unique. International talent includes companies such asSEAD’s Bodhi Project from Austria, performing Bhaj from Spanish choreographer and Akram Khan’s former student, Jose Agudo. Also, Emma Evelien Dance from the Netherlands, Ms. Evelien young powerhouse, blends European contemporary and urban dance on her productions. Celebrities Leah Barsky and Cristian Correa will entice audiences with Tango from Argentina; meanwhile Socharart Ensemble will do it through their beautifully crafted traditional dance from Ghana. Always a favorite, Indian Independence Day on August 15 will be led by scholar, exponent and pioneer in the field, Padmashree Darshana Jhaveri and Dancers representing the classical Indian dance form of Manipuri.
For the local choreographers the highlights are Yin Yue with her company YYDC, Jon Ole Olstad, Ja’Malik from Ballet Boy Productions, and Leonardo Sandoval with his fantastic tap troupe Music from the Sole. Last but not least, on August 14, the Festival will honor Pete Seeger’s 100th Birthday with the presentation of “Turn Turn Turn: Celebrating Pete Seeger in Dance & Music” from Vanaver Caravan.
What are the must-see performances?
Each day is special, each program has a highlight. Opening night, for me is always a must-see as it is inception day. Performances will start with a heart felted presentation from Danuka Ariyawansa with a tribute to the victims of the tragic events that happened on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka last April.
What are you most excited for this year?
I am excited to see the Battery Dance Festival growing in reputation, quality and followers. We are now an anchor for the community, and a must-see for audiences which many times travel to Lower Manhattan exclusively for this week of dance (not only from other parts of New York but also from other states and countries). It is also an important platform for the artists, an opportunity to present their craft and showcase their talent. Battery Dance’s President and Artistic Director, Jonathan Hollander, had created what I consider a dance ritual of New York City. I am excited to see the community coming together to enjoy the authenticity and diversity of the Battery Dance Festival on its 38th year.
How do we get tickets to Battery Dance Festival?
The program outdoors at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park is completely free and open to everyone, it is recommended to arrive early to get the best spots. Tickets for the closing performance at Schimmel Center at Pace University will be available beginning 7/6. For more information, visit http://batterydance.org/battery-dance-festival/. Or call Schimmel Center’s box office at 212-346-1715.