AUG 12 | In-Person & Livestreamed 


Young Voices in Dance, Battery Dance Festival’s newest addition, celebrates the next generation of choreographers. Now in its third year, the program highlights the intellectual curiosity, innovation, and artistic excellence of youth (ages 15-22) across the Americas. The program features live performances with original works choreographed and danced by youth in a variety of styles. Catch these talents on the rise on the Battery Dance Festival stage. 


This year’s program features two youth groups, Bowery Mission and Queensborough Community College, that created new works through Battery Dance’s educational exchange program, Dancing to Connect.


Time & Location 

In-person: 7pm EDT at Rockefeller Park. Click here for directions.

Livestream: https://vimeo.com/854039765?share=copy

The video will be available to watch for 10 days after the premiere and will expire on Aug 22.

Register for free to receive the livestream link and bonus content


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The Bowery Mission logo.



This summer, Battery Dance is partnering with the youth program of The Bowery Mission, which empowers children from low-income neighborhoods to thrive and succeed. A special Dancing to Connect will serve 15 middle-school girls from East Harlem and The Bronx. Working in our studios with teaching artist and former company dancer Robin Cantrell, they will collaborate to create their own dance work — then perform it onstage in the park during the Festival’s Aug. 12 “Young Voices in Dance” program. 


About the Organization

The Bowery Mission exists to promote the flourishing of New Yorkers overcoming homelessness and marginalization by providing compassionate services and transformative community. Our children’s programs, called Mont Lawn City Camp & Mont Lawn Summer Camp, serve youth and began in 1894 by giving the children of recent immigrants the chance to escape the tenements in the summer.


Four dancers on stage wearing black and green costumes hold hands and smile.


All Four

“This piece was originally created for a composition concert in my last year of college with the Fordham/ Ailey BFA Program. It is significant because it tells the story of my 3 brothers and me. Our bond is unbreakable. This piece reflects how I see each of them and my unique relationship with each. My dancers are current students in the program. My goal with each person that experiences this piece is for them to think back on their own family (related by blood or not) and savor every moment with them.”


Choreographer: Marley Poku-Kankam
Dancers: Naia Neal, Kamani Abu, Dominic Roberts, Ali Asha Polson
Music: Sweet Disposition by the Temper Trap
Voiceover: Shelia Poku-Kankam
Composer: The Temper Trap, Mixed by Asa Bell

About the Company

Marley Poku-Kankam started dance classes at the age of 2 dancing competitively at Miss Donna’s School of Dance until she was 13 years old. Marley transitioned to a career in Ballet at Charlotte Ballet Academy until she graduated high school. She continued her training in the Alvin Ailey/Fordham BFA program in New York City. She recently graduated in May 2023 with a BFA in Dance and Business Administration. Her passion for choreography started in the BFA Program creating solos for young dancers. She premiered her first group work “All Four ” at the Ailey School in March 2023 for her Senior Choreography Concert and then at the BFA Benefit in late April 2023. She is excited to share her love for dance and her family with the Battery Dance Festival audience.


Two Indian dancers pose on stage in front of a blue curtain.


Taraana | NYC Premiere

“Taraana,” a Kathak-Bharatanatyam collaboration, explores acceptance and coexistence. The duet presents two ancient Indian classical styles with rigid frameworks, conveying how open-mindedly embracing the other form leads to harmony onstage, without compromise of technical purity. Using the style of “jugalbandi” (interaction between the two dancers), the work portrays its broader theme – how welcoming different identities, while preserving tradition, can create a culturally-rich, conflict-free society.


Choreographers and Dancers: Shashank Iswara and Aliyah Banerjee
Music: Tarana by PT. Ravi Shankar

About the Company

Shashank Iswara (20) and Aliyah Banerjee (19) are emerging choreographers in classical Bharatnatyam and Kathak dance, respectively. Both of them being national YoungArts winners and scholarship awardees from the Dance Council of North Texas, they have been training in dance and performing for more than 17 years. Currently students at the University of Texas at Austin, they have performed in productions around the world, and started collaborating in 2021 to bring together their dance forms in rhythmic and artistic choreographies.


Five dancers in a brightly lit dance studio lean and point to the right.


How Do Five Parts Construct a Whole?

The original impetus to create the work stemmed from a sense of futility within oneself. We began questioning what it takes to confront our history and facilitate growth. We discussed as a group the meaning of existence, our place in society, and accepting that we have no control. We go through a journey of self-security that battles facades of ego and bravado. The dancers take us through a wave of emotional development. It speaks to the process of self-realization, and understanding the complexities of our emotions.


Choreographer: Dareon Blowe
Dancers: Anna Lopez, Kalen Simpson, Joshua Dias, Kylie Grossman, Natalia Collado
Music: Floodtide (Widetone) by Slow Danger & Jasmine Hearn, Refulgent by Kylie Grossman
Audio Editor: Kylie Grossman
Costume Designer: Cat Buchanan

About the Company

A native to Norfolk ,Virginia, Dareon Blowe is a Dancer/Choreographer who is interested in investigative movement research, disrupting architectures, and reorganizing pressure systems in the body. Throughout his career he has worked with the likes of Kyle Abraham, Rena Butler, Sidra Bell, Doug Varone, and more. While in the DMV Area, he was able to set a multitude of works among the local dance schools and programs around him. As a recent graduate from the George Mason School of Dance, he is ecstatic to be venturing out into the field.


In front of a gray background, one dancer does a a one handed handstand and looks at the camera.


There is Always Something Happening

This piece encapsulates the experience of chaos in our everyday lives. Something is always happening; how do we deal with it? We can either stand alone and give into the inevitable weight of life or stand together and smile in the face of demands. At pivotal moments in life we are left with these two options. Through this work we discover a lighthearted yet profound series of connections, perseverance and humor as we navigate our existence.


Choreographer: Mateo Vidals
Dancers: Tulia Marshall, Olivia Wang, Kanon Sugino, Dahsir Hausif, Kris Arciaga
Music: Oh My Angels by Bertha Tilman & Honey Boy by Alex Somers

About the Company

Mateo Vidals grew up in Red Hook, Brooklyn and began dancing at the age of 6 at Cora Dance. He attended Fort Hamilton High School as a Dance Major and later enrolled at SUNY Purchase as a Dance Major in 2020. Mateo has worked alongside widely recognized choreographers such as Greg Lau, Earl Mosley, Darrell Moultrie, Rodrick George, Jie-hung Connie, Jesse Obremski and Antonio Brown. He has trained at several institutions such as Cora Dance, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, and The Joffrey Ballet Academy.


In a dance studio, one dancer leans back with one leg in the air while two dancers stand in the back.


La Vie En Rose | World Premiere

“This is my liberation. With music by my idol, Grace Jones, I was able to make something that can show the feelings that represent my life up until this moment. It’s a sort of autobiography. The story of my life in love. So I truthfully only made this for me, to find an understanding of my broken heart. It has no specific visual intention, just my juvenile instinct. So while it may be an ignorant and selfish display of my joys and sorrows, try and see your life in mine, as I am simply wearing my heart on my sleeve.”


Choreographer: Luke Biddinger
Dancers: Liana Weisbord, Ava-Rachel Lieber, Kiera Lieber, Rebecca Rincon, Lana Zecchino, Carolina McAleavey
Music: Grace Jones

About the Company

Luke Biddinger is an 18-year-old dancer and choreographer in New York City with very provocative intentions. He has a strong technique in many styles of dance and a crazy amount of optimism. Inspired by the likeness of Grace Jones and Atlantic City, he spends most of life believing and creating glamorous and perfect illusions. He can always be defined by one word: “Paradise.”


On a dark stage, seven dancers in red costumes face the left and have their right arms raised.


Interface | NYC Premiere

Cameron Kay’s most recent work “Interface” explores the dynamics of different energies—corporeal and conceptual—and how they interact in space. Featuring an original score composed in collaboration with Farai Malianga, “Interface” emphasizes how individual voices can shift space. The work visually embodies how the dancers’ bodies serve as vessels for potential and kinetic energy, how entities magnetize and repel and react to one another. The dancers play with the extremes of time, mass, and space, manipulating the bounds of forces and energy.


Choreographers and Dancers: Cameron Kay
Dancers: Macy Borter, Heather Cruise, Alex DiCastro, Cameron Kay, Madeline McClure, Abigail Stinnett, Caroline Walshe, Khamille Williams
Music: Farai Malianga in collaboration with Cameron Kay

About the Company

Cameron Kay is a New York based dancer and choreographer. A recent graduate of Florida State University, Cameron has had the privilege of both performing as well as creating three original evening-length works performed in concert for the School of Dance. Her most recent work Interface was selected for the American College Dance Association’s Regional Conference. Cameron has extensive dance training in both concert and commercial dance, and values emphasizing both within her performance and choreography.


One Indian dancer hinges backwards in front of a black background.



“Krtaghna” is an Indian-classical fusion piece that reflects on environmentalism. “Krtaghna” follows the story of Mother Earth caring for man and growing him with love, only for man to grow and exploit the five elements of the Earth. Mother Earth is left broken and battered, in shock from the dismissive attitude of man, feeling heartbroken that she was used for selfish intentions and was left weakened. Although disappointed, Mother Earth was left with no choice but to destroy the Earth, pushed to her maximum limits. This dance is a cautious warning to humans, urging people to be grateful to the Earth. “Krtaghna” utilizes traditional Indian classical elements of dance with a Western sound in its music, as well as the usage of the languages English and Kannada.


Choreographer: Samanvita Kasthuri
Dancer: Samanvita Kasthuri
Composition: Samanvita Kasthuri

About the Company

Samanvita Kasthuri is an emerging choreographer who utilizes her extensive background in the Indian classical dance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathak to create fusion pieces that mix Western styles of dance and music. Samanvita is also interested in using dance as a platform to speak about global issues. Samanvita has received many accolades for dance. She recently was awarded as the Best Dancer at Desi Dance Network’s National Legends Competitions that hosted the top 8 Bollywood Fusion collegiate teams nationally to compete at Raleigh, North Carolina. She was also commissioned for the Saint Louis University’s Literary Arts Award Ceremony in April of 2022 to create Krtaghna and was fortunate to perform it in front of Arundhati Roy, an esteemed author. Samanvita has also won second place in 2019 at the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.


Headshot of Micah Sell in front of a gray background.


Outline | World Premiere

This piece delves into relationships and how they grow and change over time. It features two individuals who want to build together but are not certain how. Moments of moving in unison represent the moments of connection found within the difficulty of building a relationship. As their relationship evolves, they learn how to co-exist, finding a balance of reliance and freedom; discovering the freedom that comes from having someone to rely on and the boundaries that expectations create.



Choreographer: Micah Sell
Dancers: Thomas Hogan & Mateo Vidals
Music: “Passage” by Oren Ambarchi “20191229” by Mac Demarco, “TV Dream” by Cults.
Mixed by: Elias Sell

About the Company

Micah Sell is a rising senior in the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. Before beginning at Purchase, he received his training at Metropolitan Ballet Academy under the direction of Lisa Collins-Vidnovic. Micah’s inspiration for choreography began in high school while in process with Sarah Mettin, where she showed him the unlimited possibilities of movement invention, and his intrigue only grew from there. Upon arriving at Purchase he applied for and received the Composition Concentration, took every opportunity he could to choreograph, and has created numerous pieces on his peers over the last few years. He is so excited and grateful to present his work at Battery Dance Festival this year and is looking forward to creating more.


Four dancers on a dark stage face the camera in a lunge position.



Developed as part of Battery Dance’s Teacher training program in collaboration with Queensborough Community College under the mentorship of Aviva Geismar of QCC and Clement Mensah of Battery Dance.



Choreography and Performance: Elaine Alvear, Tiana Angevine, Crisina Cuz, Lizbhet Grnade, and Katrina Weeks
Music: Phillip Hamilton and Massive Attack

About the Company

The Queensborough Community College Dance Program offers technique and performance based classes in a broad variety of dance forms and provides opportunities for students to take master classes and attend lecture demonstrations through its partnership with the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI). The QCC Dance Program offers several performing opportunities and informal in-studio showings throughout the year. The QCC Dance Program is an open-enrollment program. There is no audition required to become a dance major or take classes, just an open mind and a desire to work hard.


Close up of one dancer reaching towards the camera.


Soullessly Flying | World Premiere

What happens when we leave a zone of comfort? Do we break, or do we grow? What happens when we stay within comfort? Do we refine knowledge, or become dull from repeating information? An artist’s job is to always find comfort in new spaces, to enhance their mind and their artistry. However, becoming too comfortable can poison your appetite to grow. Patterns help us learn yet we must abandon them. The best way to move forward is to break the pattern. Otherwise the pattern begins to rot.


Choreographer: Willem Sadler
Dancers: Willem Sadler, Valeria Chiappetta
Music: The Alchemist, Freddie Gibs, Sofie Birch, and Sheldon Charloet

About the Company

Willem Sadler is a street style and contemporary creator based in Toronto, Ontario. His exuberant passion led him to begin his professional career at the young age of 11, joining Artists in Motion Dance Company. As a young dancer and performer his drive has always come from his love for movement and the art of dance. Following many years solely training in street styles, he expanded his variety of movement training. Throughout his young career Willem has worked for institutions and companies like the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Shoppers Drugmart, Roots Canada, Mirvish, Little Pear Garden, Hit and Run, Dusk Dances, Dance Collection Danse, Zata OMN, CCDT and Côté Danse. Willem is also hitting quite the stride as an emerging choreographer, having already presented works at 1234 Dance Arts, Fever After Dark, RAW Artists Canada and Rosedale Heights School of the Arts. Willem is currently a company member with Côté Danse and is assisting William Yong’s new commission at the National Ballet of Canada. He is grateful for the opportunity to share his work as a part of the 42nd annual Battery Dance Festival and hopes this world premiere and his New York City debut will bring light and joy into every viewer’s day.


Four dancers on stage under a spotlight lean on each other and reach for each others' hands.


A Fraction of a True Self

“A fraction of a true self” poses the question of what would happen if all versions of yourself; past, present, future, good, bad, selfish, compliant, greedy, jealous, etc. were to coexist? Would there be chaos? Would there be acceptance? This work is a physical manifestation of an exaggerated identity crisis and what it is to deal with imposter syndrome.



Choreographers: Tulia Marshall
Dancers: Valerie Abegg, Julienne Buenaventura, Nick Elizondo, Jaclyn Feehan, Andy Guuzman, Dahsir Hausif, Ciana Jao, Destin Moriset, Mateo Vidals, Olivia Wang
Music: The Temple by Son Lux, Message from Home by Hans Zimmer, Rainy Night in Tallin by Ludiwg Goransson

About the Company

Tulia Marshall is a Vietnamese dancer and choreographer from New Paltz, New York and received her training from Laguardia High School, Manhattan Youth Ballet, and the Hubbard Street Professional Program. Tulia graduated from the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase as a Presidential scholar with a double major in Dance (concentration in choreography) and Arts Management.  Tulia is the current director of Ambition Collective and has presented work at Arts on Site, Bridge for Dance, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Fort Hamilton High School, New Century Dance Project, and Stars of American Ballet.

One dancer under a spotlight looks up and opens his jacket.


Static State of Perfection

“Utopias will never happen, as humans are inevitably flawed by nature. This piece is influenced by the inherent contradictory nature of utopia. With the conquest of this idealized perfect reality, a paradox emerges, that utopia cannot exist without dystopia. Throughout this process of creation, it has given me the opportunity to invite some new thoughts about my own ideation of the perfect world I envision, what that would look like and what that entails.”


Choreographer: Joanne Hwang
Dancers: Nick Camarero, Hannah Featherstone, Ezekiel Martinez, Leah Stauffer, Joanne Hwang
Music: Objekt, Brenda Lee, Ezio Bosso

About the Company

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Joanne Hwang (she/her) graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Musical Theatre. While at Point Park, Joanne had the honor of working with and performing works by Twyla Tharp, Robyn Mineko Williams, Martha Graham, Norbert De La Cruz III, and others. Joanne has continued to train within the US through intensives such as BODYTRAFFIC, Move NYC, and The Pillow Project.