AUG 13 | In-Person & Livestreamed 


Opening night of our main festival features the return of three companies, and four debut performances. From hip hop to contemporary, from traditional folk dance to modern global fusion, this year’s festival begins with an evening of work showcasing the diversity of dance. 


This program is made possible in part by our international partner organizations: DutchCultureUSA at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia and Kampung Seni Baruga Kaluarrang.

Thank you to our independent Curatorial Panel for selecting these wonderful companies. See detailed program info below.


Time & Location 

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

Livestream: https://vimeo.com/854198399?share=copy

The video will be available to watch for 10 days after the premiere and will expire on Aug 23.

Register for free to receive the livestream link and bonus content


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In front of a tree, one dancer smiles and waves their hand while another dancer leans forward with their elbows out.



Lebonna (2022) is a dance piece inspired by the ancient oral literature of Toraja titled “Massudilalong sola Lebonna”. It tells the story of the war commander, Massudilalong Paerengan, and the most beautiful girl in his village, Lebonna. In their relationship, both of them vowed that their love would be eternal and they would remain together in life and death. They also pledged to be buried in the same grave once they passed away. However, fate had other plans, and their love story ended tragically.

Batara Gowa’s appearance at the 42nd Annual Battery Dance Festival 2023 is made possible by the generous support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia and Kampung Seni Baruga Kaluarrang.


Artistic Director: Andi Muhammad Redo
Choreographer: Nur Asma Syukur
Music: Syamsuddin S. (Ancu Batara)
Group Manager: Mohammad Reiza
Costumes: Umaya Bajubodo Ethnic
Dancers: Muh Rezha, Jelly Engrita Pualillin, Nur Asma Syukur
Musicians: Syamsuddin S., Andi Redo
Story Teller: Luna Vidya

About the Company

Batara Gowa is a dance group and cultural arts institution established since 1967, located in Makassar City, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It was founded by the artistic maestros, Andi Ummu Tunru and Basri B. Sila, with the aim of providing ample opportunities for the younger generation to hone their talents and skills at Batara Gowa, guided by the vision of “Building Cultural Diplomacy Through the Arts.” Its activities include dance and music performances, opera, rituals, workshops, and a center for cultural arts research. In most of their works Batara Gowa is inspired by the uniqueness of the local culture in South Sulawesi. Currently, Batara Gowa is under the direction of Andi Muhammad Redo as the artistic director and Nur Asma Syukur as the choreographer.

English translation of the Bahasa Makassar text

A group of dancers jump in the air with their arms out to the sides


A Certain Mood

“A Certain Mood” is inspired by the Hans Hofmann painting of the same name. Hofmann’s use of space and color gave me a feeling of darkness moving into light. As a painter, I often transpose the movement of the brushstroke into my choreography. I wanted to capture the vibrant quality of Hofmann’s work by showcasing the athletic movements of the dancers and embody the energy of the painting.  -Tsai Hsi Hung

This performance is made possible by The Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust. 


Choreographer: Tsai Hsi Hung
Music: Iggy Hung
Costumes: Tsai Hsi Hung
Lighting Design: Leonardo Hidalgo
Dancers: Sarah Housepian, Vivake Khamsingsavath, Jillian Linkowski, Zaki A’Jani Marshall, Amy Saunder, Razvan Stoian

About the Company

Battery Dance performs on the world’s stages, teaches, presents, and advocates for the field of dance. The Company is dedicated to the pursuit of artistic excellence and the availability of the Arts to everyone. An integral part of the fabric of New York City since 1976, Battery supports the creative process; educates children in the New York City schools; enriches the general public through local programs and performances, national and international tours, and international arts exchange programs. Battery Dance is a community-spirited presenter with the free annual Battery Dance Festival, introducing New Yorkers to over 350 dance companies in more than 40 years.


One dancer on a stage holds a handstand with their legs bent.


Power | World Premiere

POWER Is a solo dance work which explores the concept of power from several perspectives. Movement wise, the work experiments with the idea of power and control in the body, and the dynamism of flow and softness, journeying from zero to 100 and back from 100 to zero. It is also about the act of manifesting, i.e. the power to make things happen that exists within each of us.  It is about making and achieving goals. Finally, the piece also celebrates the power of nature: the wind, a force that we can feel, but we can’t see; that force that passes before the sun without leaving a trace, a pressure to ” flow ” that you can’t halt, but can keep.

This performance is supported by DutchCultureUSA at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York.


Choreographer and Dancer: Reuel Rogers
Music: ”Hale” Dan Bay & Idd Aziz

About the Company

Reuel “Crunk” Rogers is a dancer/teacher/coach/choreographer. Reuel studied at Codarts, the renowned dance academy in Rotterdam, before returning to his home island of Curaçao, where he has since been performing, teaching and choreographing. He has created a unique style of dance all his own, based in urban dance, hip hop and break dance, combined with contemporary sensibilities through his mentorship with Battery Dance. Reuel has traveled as far as China, Egypt, and Israel for dance competitions, and performed in Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Slovakia. This will be his third appearance at the Battery Dance Festival.


A group of dancers lean in different directions under red and orange lights.


A Yearning Desire | NYC Premiere

“This piece was created to highlight different stages and moments in my life. I wanted to show moments of isolation and also moments of community and the importance of relationships that we often long for. I titled this work ‘A Yearning Desire’ because, throughout every section I feel as though there is one or more individuals striving to get to their said person or group of individuals, and in the end we are met with a sense of surrender because we finally let go of what we are searching for and learn to accept who is in front of us.”


Choreographer: Keturah Stephen
Dancers: Chelen Middlebrook, Arnel Wilson, Dahsir Hausif, Destin Morissett, Spirit Priester, Andy Guzman, Devonna Curtis, Olivia Wang, Minylan Echols, Alexa Ramirez-Solomon
Music: Flako-Mating Dance, Niklas Paschburg- Tuur Mang Welten, Dauwd- Aqueous
Costumes: Keturah Stephen
Photography: Isabella Pagano

About the Company

Keturah Stephen, a Brooklyn native, graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance in 2022. Keturah has also attended the MOVE(NYC) Young Professionals Program, led by Co-Directors and Co-Founders Chanel DaSilva and Nigel Campbell. Throughout the course of her training, she has worked with Earl Mosley, Loni Landon, Roderick George, Trisha Brown, and Antonio Brown, etc. Keturah has recently joined A.I️ M. by Kyle Abraham and has been with them for about a year now.


Three dancers pose with one arm raised while one dancer moves on the floor.



Is Courante a dance for angels, animals, or the possessed? Performed by a cast of 7 from Trainor Dance, this exhilarating piece is a romp into the wilderness of the heart via pulsing, soaring, and careening bodies. Set to Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer prize winning composition, Courante will leave you twitching in your seat.


Choreographer: Caitlyn Trainor
Dancers: Daniel Pahl, Allegra Herman, Elizabeth Hepp, Illya Lenych, Morgen Littlejohn
Music: Caroline Shaw

About the Company

Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, CAITLIN TRAINOR is the artistic director of Trainor Dance. She is also a member of the faculty at Barnard College/Columbia University and the founder of Dancio, providing on-demand dance classes with world-renowned teachers. Trainor’s creative work ranges from irreverently neoclassical to wildly experimental, and includes dances for the concert stage, as well as for stairwells, galleries, and gardens.


Black and white photo of 2 dancers moving back to back.


The Called and The Chosen | NYC Premiere

The Called And The Chosen is a contemporary retelling of an ancient Rites Of Passage ceremony. 




Co-Artistic Director: Bashir-Muhammad & Christopher Page-Sanders
Choreographer: Christopher Page-Sanders
Costume Design: Alex Gordon & Lara Kirksey
Music: John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Yusef Islam, Nina Simone 
Artists: Taylor Collier, Jason Herbert, Rayan Lecurieux-Durival, Bashir Page-Sanders, Roxanne Lanette Young

About the Company

NU-World Contemporary Danse Theatre expresses through dance and dance theater: the resilience of the human spirit, and reflects the stories that come out of the experiences and intersectionality of black, brown, and queer identities in America. Through writing and rewriting the narrative, we challenge false perceptions, fear-based assumptions, and personal biases by allowing audiences to connect to the humanity inside each artist.


Four dancers in colorful costumes pose from high to low level on stage.



(no)man is a dance rollercoaster traveling through ideas of home and identity while juxtaposing cross cultural movement as a reflection of power & privilege. Weaving together their signature fusion movement, rhythmic footwork and world music, IMGE questions who is included and excluded in this borrowed space and time.


Choreographer: Ishita Mili
Dancers: Hanna Gosztyla (She/They), Maddie Jacob (She/Her), Lex Bolisay (She/Her), Andrei Miasco (He/Him), Ishita Mili (She/They), Sangeetha Santhebennur (She/Her)
Music: Oliver Koletzki, Srijon on the Beat, RRobin, Les Mamans du Congo
Photographer: Jim Coleman

About the Company

IMGE is an American dance company that uses elements of bharatanatyam, hip hop, and Mayurbhanj chhau vocabularies to navigate social, cultural, and environmental constructs along with artists of different perspectives. Founded by Ishita Mili, IMGE has worked across concert, commercial, and musical theater industries, and performed at New Victory Theater, Seattle International Dance Festival, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and most recently debuted their premiere evening length show, (no)man, at The Tank NYC in 4 sold out runs.