Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Just Do Art: Week of May 4, 2017


Battery Dance rehearsing “On Foot,” one of four world premieres at migration-themed May 10-11 performances. Photo by Claudio Rodriguez.
BATTERY DANCE: 41ST ANNUAL NEW YORK SEASON | Informed by interactions with artists and audiences during recent tours of Europe, Africa, South and East Asia, and the American Midwest, an invigorated Battery Park Dance touches down on the ground of its namesake neighborhood. Longtime company members will join forces with dancers from Iraq and Romania, composers from Syria and Tunisia, and an Armenian-Syrian visual artist. “Never before have we had artists as diverse as those being presented in our New York Season,” said the company’s artistic director, Jonathan Hollander. “We have seen the power of dance to bring people together and to express emotions that cannot be touched by words alone.”
The program features four migration-themed world premieres. “On Foot” is an ultra-relevant realization of a decade’s worth of the company’s exposure to refugees and youth in conflict zones, who struggle to overcome the staggering loss of family, community, and homeland. “Reconstruction” takes cuts from the 2003 studio effort by electronic music duo Matmos, which explored the American Civil War, with various Battery Dance members choreographing individual segments from the album. “Double Knot” features Hussein Smko from Iraq and Razvan Stoian from Romania, in a gladiatorial duet that explores competition and brotherhood. “Echoes of Erbil” is a solo piece spotlighting the culture of Iraq’s Kurdish region. It’s performed by Hussein Smko, the first recipient of Battery Dance’s Adel Euro Campaign for Dancers Seeking Refuge.
Wed., May 10 & Thurs., May 11, 7:30pm, at the Schimmel Center at Pace University (3 Spruce St., btw. Gold St. & Park Row). Tickets are $25 (opening night reception follows the May 10 performance; $250). For reservations, visit On May 11, Cornell University’s Dr. Penny von Eschen gives a 6:30pm pre-performance talk: “The Role of the Arts as a Vehicle for Public Diplomacy.”

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