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AUG 16 | In-Person & Livestreamed 

 

Young Voices in Dance, Battery Dance Festival’s newest addition, celebrates the next generation of choreographers. The program highlights the intellectual curiosity, innovation, and artistic excellence of youth (ages 15-22) from across the country. Young Voices in Dance will feature live performances with original works choreographed and danced by youth.

 

This evening’s program was curated by a Youth Curatorial Panel led by Tadej Brdnik, Young Voices in Dance’s Artistic Advisor.

Time & Location 

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

Online: The link for the 7pm livestream will be posted here on the day of the event. The video will be available to watch for 10 days after the premiere and will expire on Aug 26th.


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Program


BRIAN GOLDEN

This is 22! | World Premiere

Concepts of aging are explored and how we are shaped by milestones and the reality of time as we navigate our lives with others.

 

About the Choreographer

Brian Golden (22) is a graduate of Chapman University, where he obtained his BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Film Production. In his time at Chapman, he has placed and has received many awards from festivals such as the IAF Choreographers Exhibit, New Century Dance Project, the Palm Desert Choreography Festival and the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company Choreography Lab. Brian has collaborated on many films, including the short film, “Alive” which has won over 15 awards at numerous film festivals nationally and internationally.

https://www.briangolden.org/

GRACE YI-LI TONG

Garden Tongues

A trio made by and for Asian femmes satirizes the hyper-simplified (East) Asian-American experience, anti-Asian racism, and the fetishization of the Asian woman. With excerpts of popular choreography, text, and sound combined with performers’ personal stories and fantasies, Garden Tongues aims to re-appropriate and to interrogate the diminished identity of the “Oriental woman” historically written by a White, patriarchal system.

 

About the Choreographer

Grace Yi-Li Tong (21) is a Chinese-American choreographer and performer. Recently, her choreography was featured in a commercial concept video for Tod’s Shoes, New York Dance Project’s quarantine choreography competition, and the Collegiate Association for Artists of Color’s Zine. Grace graduated in May from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Through performance, Grace hopes to shed light on marginalized stories and the potential to rebuild and reimagine community spaces.

gracetong.com

IMANI GAUDIN

ニ時二分 (2:02)

This work explores the stages of grieving through research of the body in connection to the mind. What does grieving look like within different realms of musical genres, and how can these ideas be portrayed through a plethora of black bodies? Within the process, the use of the seven chakras aid in reaching an understanding of the emotions behind movement.

About the Choreographer

Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, Imani (22) completed her pre-professional training at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts as well as graduated from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY. During her time at Purchase she has created nine works which includes three films. As the director of her start-up non-profit Gaudanse, Imani’s ambition is to create a collaborative space for all artist alike while exploring what it means to delve deep into how movement languages brings forth new ideas and translates to what we call dance.

https://www.gaudanse.com/

KANYOK ARTS INITIATIVE

Untitled | World Premiere

A collective choreographic response to the 15 months of pandemic and the political and social climates which the dancers face.

 

About the Choreographers

The choreographers (16) are the members of the collective program at Kanyok Arts Initiative. They were guided through the creative process by three of their mentors. 

www.kanyokartsinitiative.com

KATE LOUISSAINT & NHYIRA OFORIWAA ASANTE

The Stoic Bridge | World Premiere

An artistic journey that seeks to bring to life Norman Rockwell’s painting of Ruby Bridges entitled “The Problem We All Live With.” This is a story about fear, progress, and strength.

 

About the Choreographers

Kate Louissaint (19) and Nhyira Oforiwaa Asante (18) are alumni of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Through their experiences as Black women in predominantly white institutions, combined with historical research, they strive to delve into the cycle of systemic inequality by peering into the past. They are current BFA students at the University of Michigan and New York University, respectively. 

LILY SUMMER GEE

Mine, Yours, Ours.

Set to Nina Simone version of the Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me,” and beginning as an exploration of the choreographer’s Asian American heritage, the piece was built in dialogue with the dancers exploring concepts of complex heritage, lineage, and upbringing. The piece encompasses the duality of being both an individual and a branch from a family tree. How can we honor ourselves, our desires and beliefs, while still participating in and being tied to our ancestry?

 

About the Choreographer

Lily Summer Gee (20) is from Berkeley, California. She began dancing at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center at age 13. She continued her dance training and began choreographing at Berkeley High School. Currently, Lily is dancing at Vassar College. She has enormous gratitude for her dance teachers past and present: Nol Simonse, Mo Miner, Crystaldawn Bell, Leslie Sachs, and Stephen Rooks. Dance stems from love, support, community, and trust, Lily hopes to honor that in each piece she creates.

https://www.instagram.com/lilysgee/

RAMYA DURVASULA (KALANIDHI DANCE)

Shiva Panchakshara Stotra | World Premiere

Set to Uma Mohan’s modern vocal rendition of Shiva Panchakshara Stotram, this devotional piece in the  Kuchipudi style is a prayer to the serene yet powerful Lord Shiva and a reminder of the eternal nature of life and death. Through the five verses of the song, the dancers embody each of the syllables in the sacred word Namashivaya. Upon completing the prayer, the dancers enter a meditative trance, dancing with complete abandon as though possessed by the god of dance himself.

 

About the Choreographer

Ramya Durvasula (22) has been dancing with the Kalanidhi Dance Company since 2014. With Kalanidhi, she has performed at prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center (2014, 2015, 2017), Lincoln Center (2015, 2017), Library of Congress (2014), Drive East Festival (2017), and the Battery Dance Festival (2017). She has taken part in numerous Kalanidhi productions including a full-length solo show in 2021. Ramya recently began choreographing for Kalanidhi; her work Shiva Panchakshara Stotra has garnered over 700k views online.

https://www.kalanidhi.org/company-dancers/

SPENCER EVERETT & ISABELLA ALDRIDGE

Repentino | NYC Premiere

Choreographers Isabella Aldridge and Spencer Everett present a new work about the resilience of the human spirit. Through integrating rubber bands into the choreography, boundaries, restrictions, and strength are experienced and reflect the innate human ability to bounce back and recover from extreme predicaments.

 

About the Choreographers

Spencer Everett (20) & Isabella Aldridge (20) are an emerging choreographic duo. Spencer & Isabella started training at local studios in their respective hometowns Stratford, Ontario and St. Mary’s, Maryland. They are now in their third year of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. Isabella is currently mentored by Alvin American Dance Theater company member, Courtney Celeste Spears. Spencer practices acrobatic arts under mentorship of former Cirque du Soleil member Meaghan Wegg. They started working together in 2018 experimenting in contemporary styles.

https://www.instagram.com/spencer.ev/ & https://www.instagram.com/belle.aldridge/

 

Bonus Content – Register to receive link to bonus content


CHAKIR BOURAHLA

احلام شبان (Beautiful Dreams) | World Broadcast Premiere

Beautiful dreams is a musical comedy in video, in Arabic the title means (dreams of youth) and (beautiful dream.) It shows the story of a homeless man amazed by a dancer who passes next to him, however, he decides to follow her, shocked at his entrance. He was afraid, but the dancer gives him the last dance. After a dance like no other, he wakes up and notices that this whole story was a dream. Disappointed and hurt by his own dream, he decides to sing “Wine Nbato” a traditional Algerian song which means ”where I sleep if the dark is coming ?” 

 

About the Choreographer

Chakir Bourahla (18) is a young Algerian dancer and choreographer. At only 18, he is one of the most trendy dancers of the moment in Algeria. At his young age, he has already participated in and organized several shows and dance festivals at the national level and international. At 14 years old, he was elected youngest national champion in Algeria of dance. In the same year, he trained in NYC within Battery Dance company, and he represented Algeria in MERSIN in 2019. Known for his promising works, he is one of the symbols of Algerian youth.

https://www.instagram.com/chakirbourahla/?hl=en

ESSENCE THOMAS

Miseducated

A riveting and emotionally captivating visual production on the miseducation of American History.

 

About the Choreographer

Essence Thomas (22), born in Hollywood FL, is a freelance dancer, teacher, choreographer, and visual artist. Essence is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a minor in Florida teaching at The University of Florida. Essence is very passionate about dance and its ability to empower and educate an audience. She strives to make an emotional connection with the audience through her work. ​ Essence’s style of dance and choreographic style aims towards freestyle hip-hop, experimental, and improvisational movement.

https://essencethomas.wixsite.com/essencelthomas

INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS BARCELONA x ANNA YANG

In Myself I Trust | U.S. Premiere

“Make your own way, inspire others, and change will happen.” Anna Yang, pioneer of the Barcelona Ballroom Scene, has conducted a workshop with students from arts schools in Catalunya during three days, culminating in a screendance made by the young artists whose studies are focused in Dance, Music, and Film making. The Vogue workshop participants included students from Institute of the Arts Barcelona and Plató del Cinema. In Myself I Trust is presented in collaboration with Choreoscope – Barcelona Dance Film Festival and Institut Ramon Llull. 

 

About the Choreographers

The Institute of the Arts Barcelona (IAB) is a leading Performing Arts conservatoire offering foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate program in Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre and Contemporary Music Production. The Institute is based in Sitges, approximately 30 minutes from Barcelona. 

https://www.instagram.com/choreoscope/?hl=en

INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS BARCELONA x TREVOR CARLSON (MERCE CUNNINGHAM TRUST)

4 Events | U.S. Premiere

Merce Cunningham Trustee Trevor Carlson has conducted a workshop with students from arts schools in Catalunya over six days culminated in a screendance made by the young artists whose studies are focused in Dance, Music, and Film making. The DanceForms workshop participants included students from Institute of the Arts Barcelona and Plató del Cinema. This Official Merce Cunningham Centennial workshop has been supervised and coordinated by Choreoscope – the International Dance Film Festival of Barcelona and Thorus Arts. 4 Events is presented in collaboration with Choreoscope – Barcelona Dance Film Festival and Institut Ramon Llull. 

About the Choreographers

The Institute of the Arts Barcelona (IAB) is a leading Performing Arts conservatoire offering foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate program in Acting, Dance, Musical Theatre and Contemporary Music Production. The Institute is based in Sitges, approximately 30 minutes from Barcelona. 

https://www.instagram.com/choreoscope/?hl=en

JESSICAL MICHAL

Marica

This piece started with the idea of touch and with the memory of my grandmother. Touch is physical, it is literal, and it is also felt deeply from person to person. The remnants of my grandmother live in me through her words, her actions, and her identity. Marcia was a strong, Jewish-American woman who lived to 92. Not only does her legacy live in me through my middle name, but it also runs deeply through her many stories and lessons about overcoming prejudice and embracing the strength of womanhood. Her presence, legacy, and touch lives on.

 

About the Choreographer

Jessica Michal (22) is a professional dance artist based in the New York/New Jersey area. She earned her BFA in Dance Performance from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts in May 2021. Her work in choreography and performance focuses on our internal and external worlds and the physical and mental/emotional sides of humanity. Her background as a Jewish-American woman shapes the perspective and experiences that she shares, the stories that she tells, and thus the voices that she wishes to uplift through her art.

https://jessmmichal.wixsite.com/moves

SARAH A. LIEBAU

The Backrooms | World Broadcast Premiere

The Backrooms is inspired by a life-long fascination with liminal spaces. These are the empty, transitional rooms and hallways we pass through without thinking, the spaces that get forgotten the minute we stop using them. I play with the nostalgia and dated aesthetics of an older building at Rutgers University to explore the uncomfortable feelings that inhabit an unused space. Using shower rooms, lecture halls, and locker rooms, I question what entities of the subconscious that can bubble up to the surface when presented with a void.

 

About the Choreographer

Sarah Liebau (22) is a New Jersey-based dance artist. Through Mason Gross School of the Arts, she has studied with Jordan Lloyd, Ani Javian, and Laurel Snyder, and performed in pieces by John Evans and Pam Tanowitz. Sarah has made works around sustainability, femininity, and domesticity, and is excited to create more personal works that explore the intersections of performance, identity, and social issues.

https://sarah227liebau.wixsite.com/website