MAR 25 | Canadian Voices in Dance

Battery Dance Festival+ presents a program celebrating the work of Canadian dance makers in partnership with the Consulate General of Canada in New York.

In anticipation of the program, Battery Dance’s artistic director Jonathan Hollander sat down with the artists to discuss their works. Click here for links to the interviews. 

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Battery Dance Festival 2018 by Beowulf Sheehan


The Man in Black

Performed at the 2018 Battery Dance Festival

About the Work

The Man in Black is a celebration of American working class-grit and of the man whose voice embodied it so well, Johnny Cash. James Kudelka takes six Cash songs and transforms them into outwardly simple yet choreographically sophisticated dances, creating an ode to the human spirit, proud and resilient.

About the Company

Citadel + Compagnie is a dance organization with its home, The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance, embedded within the Regent Park community of downtown Toronto. Led by Artistic Director, Laurence Lemieux, the company commits to the creation and production of innovative and accessible original works of dance and the preservation of iconic Canadian repertoire, in addition to supporting its multiple presentation platforms and training program.



between series:
between sun and sand & between snow and sky

World Premieres

About the Work

Conceived by Karen Kaeja, Karen and Allen Kaeja celebrate the effort to find light and flight during the pandemic in two different seasons. Music composed by Edgardo Moreno and Christina Litt Belch. 


About the Company

Established in 1990, Kaeja is driven by two distinct artistic forces, Karen and Allen Kaeja. Kaeja creates award-winning contemporary dance performances for stage, film & communities that have toured the world. The foundation of their stage and film creation began with fifteen years of Holocaust inspired dance works. Allen is the child of a refugee and Holocaust survivor. Kaeja presents local and international dance artists in Toronto through festival platforms, commissions and mentorships, creating with people of all identities, practices and ages. Passionate engagers of bridging professional and community dance art, Kaeja has received 40+ awards & nominations. 



Ever So Slightly

About the Work

“Ever So Slightly” explores the behavioural mechanisms and reflexes we develop against the ceaseless flow of irritants that bombard us in our daily lives. Most of us long for calm and resilience, but how do we get to a zone where noise and aggressivity no longer have a place? Simultaneously delivering delicacy, brutality, finesse, and high-voltage action, Victor Quijada conveys all the energy contained in urgency, revolt, chaos, and flight.

About the Company

Since 2002, Victor Quijada and his RUBBERBAND have not only redefined breakdance codes within an institutional context and enlivened the Quebec dance scene, but have opened the way for new creators fascinated by this dance form. Armed with a technique he conceived for dancers, the RUBBERBAND Method – an electrifying vocabulary combining the energy of Hip Hop, the refinement of classical ballet, and the angular quality of contemporary dance – and some 40 creations and collaborations in Canada and abroad behind him, Quijada has always continued to evolve and innovate throughout his prolific career. 



In Between 

About the Work

Praised as a “polished, cohesive ballet” in The Globe and Mail, In Between debuted with The National Ballet of Canada in 2018 with original music by Canadian composer Adam Sakiyama. Choreographer Alysa Pires has now adapted the piece for film, focusing on a single dancer, Second Soloist Christopher Gerty, rather than the original cast of four, reimaging the choreography as a poignant solo. Inspired by the pull between two places, In Between conveys a sense of yearning and restlessness that feels especially prescient in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the Company

One of the top international ballet companies, The National Ballet of Canada was founded in 1951 by Celia Franca. A company of 70 dancers with its own orchestra, the National Ballet has been led by Artistic Director Karen Kain, one of the greatest ballerinas of her generation, since 2005. Renowned for its diverse repertoire, the company performs traditional full-length classics, embraces contemporary work and encourages the creation of new ballets as well as the development of Canadian choreographers.




World Premiere

About the Work

The Tarana, choreographed and performed by Tanveer Alam, is a composition of Hindustani classical music in which vocal syllables are based in Arabic and Persian phonemes (units of sound) structured within a rhythmic cycle and melody. The movements are abstract and based in the vocabulary of the North Indian form of Kathak with influences from Tanveer’s training in contemporary dance. This Tarana is set to the midnight Raag, Darbari Kanada, and is composed by the renowned composer Atul Desai who originally wrote it for Kathak guru Kumudini Lakhia. Tanveer offers this work as an example of how the art of Kathak continues to evolve and grow within the bodies of its diasporic practitioners — with love and honesty.

About the Artist

Born and raised in Montreal, Tanveer Alam started his training in the Indian classical dance form of Kathak with Sudeshna Maulik and continues to study with guru Sandhya Desai. Alam also trains in Taal Vidya — the knowledge of Hindustani classical rhythms, with guru Pandit Divyang Vakil. He is a 2019 graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Alam has performed in the works of Pandit Birju Maharaj, Janak Khendry, Rina Singha, Lata Pada, Brandy Leary, Noémie Lafrance, and Sanjukta Sinha. An emerging choreographer, he hopes to carry forward Kathak in relation this his own truths as a diasporic artist, as well as reflect on the different trainings his body holds. His work has been presented at Dance Ontario DanceWeekend, New Blue Emerging Dance Festival, London Dance Festival, MAI – Montréal, arts interculturels, SummerWorks Festival, and Tangente to name a few. Alam has been supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, and Ontario Arts Council. In 2020, he was the recipient of The Sadhana Residency supported by Anandam Dancetheatre.



Interviews with the Artists

Laurence Lemieux of Citadel + Compagnie & Tanveer Alam
Watch Here


Victor Quijada of RUBBERBAND

Watch Here

Alysa Pires and Christopher Gerty of The National Ballet of Canada & Allen and Karen Kaeja of Kaeja d’Dance

Watch Here