On Saturday, September 11, Battery Dance and Irish Repertory Theatre will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, respectively, with a live and an audio-stream performance.
At 8:46 am, the exact time the first plane hit the North Tower, five performers from Tribeca-based Battery Dance will mark the date by gathering on the traffic island bordered by West Broadway, Varick and Franklin Streets, dancing to the strains of a solo violin. This year’s tribute to the victims of 9/11, symbolizing resilience and healing, harkens back to September 2001, when the Company emerged from its loft in the Frozen Zone below Canal Street and Tadej Brdnik danced a solo accompanied by four musicians on that same traffic island, in view of the empty sky corridor that had previously been punctuated by the Twin Towers.
Battery Dance’s Vivake Khamsingsavath will direct the tribute, dancing alongside fellow Company members Sarah Housepian and Jill Linkowski. They will be joined by Brdnik, who will come out of retirement to participate in the memorial, accompanied by violinist Yu-Wei Hsiao. Together the diverse group of artists, with a collective heritage from Laos, Armenia, Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, and Taiwan, represent a microcosm of those lost on that tragic day.
Just as it was 20 years earlier, the event will be devoid of speeches or fanfare – a simple prayer in movement and music, echoing off the nearby buildings and available for anyone to witness. Founding Artistic Director Jonathan Hollander explained, “We welcome passers-by, neighbors, and anyone who may feel inspired to join us as a way of marking this tragic life-changing occasion with the beauty and solemnity of this performance.”
Following his special narration of Bikeman at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, September 10, at 4 pm (which is full to capacity), Tony-nominated actor Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) can be heard in an immersive audio version of veteran journalist Thomas F. Flynn’s epic poem, modeled after Dante’s Inferno. Streaming on demand September 11-18, from Irish Repertory Theatre, the work, produced by Cuccioli and directed by Joseph Discher, delivers a personal account of Flynn’s experiences on 9/11, beginning with the first strike on the World Trade Center, when he decided to follow his journalistic instinct and head his bike in the direction of the North Tower. As both a journalist and now a survivor of the fall of the South Tower, he chronicles coming to terms with the harrowing ordeal and somehow finding peace in the very act of surviving.
Cuccioli is joined in the audio production by Steven Eng (Hold These Truths), April Ortiz (In the Heights), and Richard Topol (Indecent). Tickets are free, but advance registration is required. Donations are welcome, with 50% of all contributions going to support the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund.