The 40th Battery Dance Festival 2021 features 56 performances, including 32 premieres, from 14 countries.
Downtown is beautiful and safe now, but when Battery Dance started, it was very courageous to dance downtown. Today Battery Dance does international dance outreach and brings the best home to New York City. The Festival is outdoors so it is safer during the pandemic. Please mask in crowds even outdoors.
New York Harbor is one of the City’s most impressive stage backdrops. You’ll never forget watching dancers perform as the sun sets over the Statue of Liberty. Robert F. Wagner Park has green space where kids can play near the Festival stage, so they have something to do while you watch the show.
Battery Dance Festival 2021
Many dancers are responding to the pandemic and the reckoning with American racial and gender violence that we are all trying to process. A lot of the work is filled with loss and hope. Dancing, like talking, is a great way to come to terms with how bad it has been and begin moving towards a better future together. This is the function of art.
In addition to the performances, there are $1 workshops that professional and amateur dancers will enjoy. They include African, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, Indian, qi-gong, street dance, tap, theatre, and voguing.
The Festival is virtual on YouTube from around the world, Thursday-Saturday, August 12-14, 2021 at 7pm; and in-person at Robert F. Wagner Park in Battery Park City, Sunday-Friday, August 15-20, 2021 from 7-9pm. FREE batterydance.org
Virtual Performances From Around the World
One of the good things about the pandemic is that it has made us more open to traveling through screens. The virtual model is perfect for Battery Dance because of their outstanding work around the world. These are some of the artists that stood out to us.
August 12 ~ Boca Tuya / Omar Román de Jesús from Bayamón, Puerto Rico and NYC perform “Los Perros del Barrio Colosal” (The dogs of the colossal barrio). The Artistic Director is a 2020 Jacob’s Pillow Fellow. bocatuya.com 🇵🇷
August 12 ~ Chilaquiles Rojos Colectivo from Mexico screens the world broadcast premiere of their dance film “MI blanco, MI Negro.” It’s about the many Mexicos that live together in the same place and time. Instagram 🇲🇽
August 12 ~ Nantea Dance Company from Tanzania screens the world broadcast premiere of “A Moment – Wakati.” It’s about how your life can change in a moment and how a moment can change your life. tadhialawi.wixsite.com 🇹🇿
August 12 ~ Introdans is a Dutch dance company, but one of its leaders, Alberto Villanueva Rodríguez is Spanish. introdans.nl 🇳🇱🇪🇸
August 13 ~ Jiva Velazquez of Paraguay presents the world broadcast premiere of “WalkINN,” a dancing bicycle journey through an ecological preserve in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bicycle dancing is cool. We sing and dance salsa on a bicycle. Facebook 🇵🇾🇦🇷
August 14 ~ Dancing Earth Creations stages heartfelt dances based on Indigenous Native American traditions. As climate change closes in on us, now is the time to start dancing with the earth again. dancingearth.org 🇺🇸
August 14 ~ Hoedy Saad is a Lebanese vogue dancer. Voguing comes from Harlem’s Black and Latin LGBTQ+ communities. Saad introduced voguing in Lebanon. That’s both cool and courageous. @hoedysaad 🇱🇧
Battery Dance Festival Performances in Battery Park City
After three days of virtual international performances, the Battery Dance Festival presents six days of live performances at Robert F Wagner Park in Battery Park City at 7pm. They are also being live streamed. Get livestream links on the daily pages at batterydance.org
The live Festival begins on Sunday, August 15 with a program of Indian dance for India Independence Day. India is the home of one of the world’s early civilizations and has a rich dance tradition. Watching Indian classical dance, you can’t help but notice moves that are part of many dance traditions around the world. Who influenced who? 🇮🇳
Monday, August 16 is focused on young artists ages 15-22. This is the future of dance. Investors won’t give money to anyone over 30 years old. Dancers who are already performing at this young age have great futures ahead of them. Imani Gaudin is from from Purchase College SUNY, which has strong arts programs. Kate Louissaint and Nhyira Oforiwaa Asante are from NYC’s Fiorello LaGuardia High School. 🇺🇸
Tuesday, August 17 performers were selected by the Festival’s independent curator panel. Battery Dance pays tribute to Peruvian coloratura soprano Yma Sumac. 🇵🇪
Wednesday, August 18 presents Dancing Wheels, a disability dance company. If you can move, you can dance. In Argentine tango, even being still is a dance move. Mordance performs “On the Waterfront,” a tribute to composer Leonard Bernstein. The film, famously starring Marlon Brando, is about the Brooklyn waterfront which you can see to the east. 🇺🇸
Thursday, August 19 presents a group of NYC dance companies. CHR Project is led by Charles Renato from Brazil. Jamal Jackson Company fuses modern and African dance. 🇧🇷🇺🇸
The Festival closes on Friday, August 20 at 7pm with a lot of Latin dance. There is Ballet Nepantla Mexican folkloric ballet, Battery Dance choreography by Romanian choreographer Ana Maria Lucacíu, Cuban dancer Beatrice Capote’s dance for Yemayá the Yoruba mother figure and orisha of the sea, Flamenco Vivo II’s Spanish flamenco palo, Dardo Galletto and Alonso Guzmán’s Argentine tango and Ohiole Dibua’s street dance that looks to our eye a lot like Brazilian capoeira. 🇦🇷🇨🇺🇲🇽🇷🇴🇪🇸🇺🇸
There is so much more than we have mentioned. See you at the Battery Dance Festival!