Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Battery Dance TV's 'Dance Diplomacy With Jonathan' Introduces 'Dancing To Connect Nairobi'

Battery Dance launched Battery Dance TV on March 27, 2020 at https://batterydance.org/dancetv/ to provide free live dance classes and programming for the general public by Battery Dance and affiliated artists through a regularly scheduled program. Faced with the cancellation of its New York City public school dance classes and the postponement of its State Department Nigeria tour, and with its popular dance studios closed, the company staff members went into high gear (from living rooms and kitchens), creating online content. In its first two weeks, Battery Dance TV was been seen by more than 16,000 viewers in 80 countries.

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iyFCr_I7Jw

"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."

Offerings include:

  • morning warmup/stretching/conditioning exercises to start your day off right
  • mid-day classes in contemporary dance with afro, ballet and jazz fusion elements
  • evening classes in varied ballroom styles
  • a daily 4pm short video by dancers performing in their living rooms

Battery Dance taps into its international network to host Artists Talks every Sunday at 9:00 AM (Eastern Time) with performers based in New York and from around the world, followed by Sunday classes in international dance genres such as Bharatanatyam dance from India, and African Fusion from Botswana.

Battery Dance also plans to expand its distance learning and programming by including online classes in lighting and production design, and classes in arts administration and cultural diplomacy. In the future, the Company plans to add short performances by youth around the world who will create short dances based on a specific weekly theme suggested by the Company.

Morning Classes & Instructors

Flow - Vivake Khamsingsavath

Stretch & Strength - Mira Cook

Conditioning - Sean Scantlebury

Afternoon Contemporary Classes & Instructors

Jazz Fusion - Jill Linkowski

Ballet Fusion - Bethany Mitchell

Storytelling & Repertoire - Hussein Smko

Afro Fusion - Sean Scantlebury

Evening Ballroom Classes & Instructors

Cha Cha, Salsa, Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Rumba, Swing - Razvan Stoian


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Dance Stories

More Hot Stories For You