This Week in Artist Talk (4/12)

10 Apr 2020, Posted by Emad Salem in Uncategorized

On Sunday, April 12, Battery Dance TV continues its weekly program, Dance Diplomacy with Jonathan.

This week will feature an interview with Ellen B. Masi, Wini Nkinda and Carmen Nicole Smith followed by a screening of a dance piece that features hand-washing and other imagery and messaging around the issue of public health during the crisis of the day which was the spread of HIV/AIDS. The work was created ten years ago in Nairobi, Kenya, as part of Battery Dance’s Dancing to Connect program.

“Revisiting this experience when we are all working in isolation provides a lesson in the importance of the arts at a time of social disruption and upheaval,” said Jonathan Hollander, artistic director of Battery Dance.  “It reinforces the message that the arts play a critical role in self-realization as well as building trust among people of different ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic and national identities.”

At the time of the creation of Dancing to Connect Nairobi, Ellen was serving as Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Carmen was Battery Dance’s teaching artist who facilitated the group, and Wini was the Kenyan dancer/choreographer who served as local partner, recruiting the participants and taking part in the workshops. 

“Battery Dance TV allows us to continue connecting people across the world through dance at this time of social distancing and isolation,” said Mr. Hollander.  “We and everyone we know at home and abroad are facing emotional, psychological, physical and financial challenges. For 45 years, we have explored the power of dance as an art form and a means for social impact and connection.  We are not going to stop now when the need is so great.”

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