AUG 14 | In-Person & Livestreamed 


From Mexican folklorico to percussive dance, enjoy a night a free performances by six diverse companies. The program features Dancing Wheels, an integrated company of professional disabled and non-disabled dancers, thrilling choreography from Romania, and celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Vanaver Caravan. 


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


Time & Location 

In-person: 7pm EDT at Robert F. Wagner Park. Click here for directions.

Livestream: https://youtu.be/uiok6QQvhT8

The video will be available to watch for 10 days after the premiere and will expire on Aug 24th.

Register for free to receive the livestream link and bonus content


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Unconquered Warriors

Nai-Ni Chen employs kung-fu fans and martial arts elements in “Unconquered Warriors”, her piece based on a Chinese legend about a warrior who spins a loop called the magical wheel of the wind and fire.



Choreographer: Nai-Ni Chen
Dancers: McKenzie Beaverson, Matthew Bowman, Cody Krause, Sara Lawrence-Sucato, Celina Speck, and Mary Verdi-Fletcher
Music: “Mirrors” and “Voices” by Glen Velez

About the Company

Under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Mary Verdi-Fletcher, The Dancing Wheels Company is recognized as the first and foremost professional physically integrated dance company in America uniting the talents of dancers both with and without disabilities. With a repertory of over 75 works from nationally-esteemed choreographers and a message of inclusion and accessibility, the Company continually expands the reach of artistic possibilities while celebrating the universal spirit of dance.



Let Down & Huasteca Suite | World Premiere

Let Down, a world premiere, is the story of a lost love that confronts gender normative dancing, while providing representation for queer females in dance. Huasteca Suite is an excerpt of Ballet Nepantla’s “Valentina.”



Music and Composer: Flor de Toloache and Trio Armonia Huasteca

About the Company

Through a fusion of Mexican folk and contemporary ballet, Ballet Nepantla explores the “in-between” spaces of trans-historical cultures, and communicates the narrative of living in the middle of physical and metaphorical spaces. Andrea Guajardo, born and raised in South Texas, moved to NYC at 17 to study at The Ailey School. In 2013, she graduated from The Ailey School and Fordham with a BFA in dance. Andrea then joined Momix under the direction of Moses Pendleton and in 2017 founded Ballet Nepantla alongside co-founder Martin Rodriguez.



Diagonal & Cain | World Premiere

The duet Diagonal is inspired by the famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century; a moment captured in the performance from his period in the Parisian atelier, where the artist lived, created and loved. Cain explores the story of Cain and Abel, the first contradiction of humanity. These pieces were created in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute.


Choreographer: Rusu Arcadie
Performers: Teodora Velescu & Attila Bordas (Diagonal); Zaki A’Jani, Jill Linkowski, Razvan Stoian (Cain)
Music and Composer: Alexandru Suciu 

About the Company

Arcadie Rusu is a choreographer, movement director, dancer and manager at Linotip Independent Choreography Centre in Bucharest, Romania. He holds a Choreography Degree from the “Ion Luca Caragiale” National University of Theatre and Film Arts, where his show “Mind Control” won the award for Best Performance Graduation Gala. Arcadie was awarded the danceWEB scholarship at ImPulsTanz, Vienna International Dance Festival. He was awarded the “Attic Arts” Residency at the Romanian Cultural Institute, London, and participated in the Cultural Olympics with three projects in partnership with the English National Ballet.



Nanibu | NYC Premiere

“Nanibu” investigates what it means to be royalty through imagery and movement. The choreography uses bird-like movement along with the feelings attached to colors to create the idea of a queen. Choreographer Imani Gaudin returns to Battery Dance Festival after performing as part of the 2021 Young Voices in Dance Program.


Choreographer: Imani Gaudin
Performer: Imani Gaudin
Music and Composer: Slave Ships by Lupe Fiasco

About the Company

Gaudanse, inc. is a platform for ardent independent thought leaders. The grail of the organization is to investigate movement languages in order to create works that instigate a broad range of meaningful and thought provoking matters that strike humanity from the micro to the macro level.



Just Above the Surface, Excerpt

Created as part of a residency program commissioned by Western Michigan University, this piece explores the electric connection of human interaction—the sensations that pull people together or apart. Conceptually rooted in Yin Yue’s FoCo technique, which fuses movement from both Chinese folk and contemporary dance, the work communicates non-traditional narratives atop a buzzing and complex musical undercurrent by Michel Banabila, Shifted, Machinefabriek, and Metamorphoses. 


Artistic Director: Igal Perry
Choreographer: Yin Yue
Performers: Alexandre Barranco, Colin Heininger, Mizuho Kappa, Hannah Newman Pan, Jerard Palazo, Robert Rubama, Joslin Vezeau, Tara Youngman
Music: Michel Banabila, Shifted, Machinefabriek, and Metamorphoses; Costumes by: Mondo Morales

About the Company

New York City’s Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (PCDC), led by Founder and Artistic Director Igal Perry and based in Union Square, has been a powerhouse of expressive and innovative dance since 1983. The Company has held NY seasons at venues including the Joyce Theater, BAM, the Kaye Playhouse, the John Jay Theater, and the KnJ Theater at Peridance, commissioning over 75 new dance works. PCDC has toured extensively in the United States and overseas, offering engaging dance performances and educational classes.



Vanaver Caravan Retrospective

In celebration of The Vanaver Caravan’s 50th year anniversary of their first performance in 1972, they present excerpts from their legacy of innovative world dance and The Vanaver Caravan is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their first concert (in NYC May 1972). Tonight they will be performing selections from their signature percussive dance repertoire from Pastures of Plenty: Tribute to Woody Guthrie


Dancers: Brandon Baker, Ariana Brisport, Isabel Cottingham, Brian Lawton, Rafal Pustelny, Sophia Roberts, Miranda Wilde Way
Music: Bill Vanaver/banjo & vocals (music director), Livia Drapkin Vanaver/vocals (choreographer), Jim Barbaro/guitar, Mark Murphy/bass. Chelsea Needham/fiddle 

Hard Travellin’ (dancers: Miranda, Brandon, Rafal, Brian, Isabel)
Union Maid (dancer: Ariana)
Hangman’s Reel (choreographer: Sandy Silva, music: trad. Quebecois)
(dancers: Miranda, Rafal, Isabel, Sophia, Brian, Ariana)
Newspaper Men (music by Pete Seeger) dancer: Brian
Peace Pin Boogie (dancers: Ariana, Rafal, Miranda, Brandon, Isabel, Brian)
Temperance Reel (music: trad) Full Cast
(all music by Woody Guthrie unless indicated)

Special thanks to: Woody Guthrie Foundation, Sarah Stackhouse, and New York State Council on the Arts/Dance Program

About the Company

For the past 49 years, Livia Vanaver has been traveling throughout the U.S., and abroad with her musician/composer husband Bill Vanaver, and company of extraordinary dancers and musicians, collecting and performing traditional dance and music from many cultures. She has been on the cutting edge of Arts Education programs. A leading authority on dance education, she has pioneered the teaching of world dance styles and Global Citizenry in schools.