40th annual ‘Battery Dance Festival’ to feature livestreamed and in-person performances

In partnership with lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City Authority, Battery Dance Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary as NYC’s longest-running free public dance festival this month, with a new hybrid of livestreamed and in-person performances. Established by Battery Dance in 1982, the summer series drew audiences of approximately 2,000 people each night pre-pandemic, before going virtual for the first time last year as a result of COVID-19, and attracting more than 30,000 viewers across 206 countries.

A total of 32 premieres by 53 dance companies will be offered to audiences around the globe from August 12-20, to promote Battery Dance’s mission of connecting the world through dance. The 2021 festival will feature sixteen international dance films streaming via YouTube at 7 pm, August 12-14, followed by 40 live performances (in honor of the festival’s 40th anniversary) staged in-person at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park (20 Battery Place) on August 15-20, from 7-9 pm, which will also be livestreamed.

“Dancing in the open air, with the river and sky in the background, is always a blissful Battery Dance Festival experience,” said Jonathan Hollander, President and Artistic Director of Battery Dance. “This year, it will be even more exhilarating as people come out of isolation to witness the entrancing performances at Wagner Park. Before the action starts on stage, three nights of truly riveting dance films from many corners of the globe will be screened. Creativity was running high during the pandemic, and we have harvested a heady mix from voguing on a mountaintop in Lebanon to swing dancing in South Korea, commedia dell’arte in Mexico to birdlike flocking in the Netherlands.”

To register for a free full festival pass, including access to all live performances, virtual viewing, and reminders and bonus content for every day of the festival, click here.

In addition to the films and performances, Ballet Dance will continue its tradition of offering ‘free’ workshops each day of the Battery Dance Festival. Taught by choreographers from the US and around the world, the nine diverse workshops in tap, Kuchipudi, contemporary, African, street dance fusion, physical theater, ballet, and voguing will take place on Zoom from 10-11 am. To register, for a non-refundable reservation cost of $1, go online; links will be provided after registration.


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