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Dance in NYC This Week
Aug 10, 2017
Isaac Hasan Surtee and dancers from Mophato Dance Theater in “I Love Botswana.” The company will perform as part of this year’s Battery Dance Festival, which begins on Sunday at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park. See listing below. Credit Thalefang Charles/Mophato Dance Theater

Our guide to dance performances.

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park (Aug. 13-18, 7 p.m.) and the Schimmel Center (Aug. 19, 6 p.m.). For the first six nights of this weeklong festival, which is now in its 36th year, Battery Dance, in association with the Battery Park City Authority, has arranged a glorious backdrop for moving bodies: New York Harbor. Mixed bills feature an eclectic lineup that includes Danuka Ariyawansa and Behri Drums and Dance Ensemble from Sri Lanka; Bollylicious, a Belgium-based collective; and Mophato Dance Theater, an Afro-fusion and contemporary dance company from Botswana. There will be local groups too, like Janis Brenner & Dancers, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and, of course, Battery Dance. On Tuesday, the organization teams up with the Indo-American Arts Council to offer a showcase of Indian dance artists.

ERASING BORDERS FESTIVAL OF INDIAN DANCE at the Schimmel Center (Aug. 14, 7 p.m.) and Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park (Aug. 15, 7 p.m.). This festival of classical Indian dance is a two-part celebration. On Monday, the Indo-American Arts Council presents an indoor showcase that includes the Bharatanatyam duo Viraja and Shyamjith Kiran; the soloist Ashwini Ramaswamy; and Parul Shah, a Kathak dancer and choreographer. On Tuesday, Erasing Borders is presented as part of the Battery Dance Festival. Artists taking part include Aakansha Maheshwari and Malini Taneja, known for their performances in the Festival of Colors tour, and Dimple Saikia, a Sattriya dancer. For those who want to experience the forms from the inside out, workshops will be offered on Sunday at Pace University.

LINCOLN CENTER AT THE MOVIES: GREAT AMERICAN DANCE at Rumsey Playfield (Aug. 16, 8 p.m.). This SummerStage presentation will be capped by a screening of a film documenting an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance of “Chroma” (Wayne McGregor), “Grace” (Ronald K. Brown), “Takademe” (Robert Battle) and “Revelations” (Ailey). But if you’re a true Ailey fanatic, you may want to arrive early: Nasha Thomas, a former member of the Ailey company who now oversees national outreach for its educational programs, leads a workshop focusing on “Revelations,” Ailey’s 1960 masterpiece, at 6 p.m. (All the spots are booked, but watching is always a possibility.) Afterward, Judith Jamison, the company’s esteemed former artistic director, introduces the film.


The Listings

ELISA MONTE DANCE at Foley Square (Aug. 12 and 19, 11 a.m.). As part of the Citi Summer Streets program, this company — now led by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, artistic director — will perform interactive site-specific works on consecutive weekends. On Saturday, Ms. Rea-Fisher presents “Boomerang,” in which the dancers perform phrases of movement that mimic Boomerang videos on Instagram; on Aug. 19, the company takes on the idea of impermanence in “Lost Art,” a reference to the Richard Serra sculpture “Tilted Arc,” which was removed from Foley Square in 1989 after having been deemed an obstruction to public life. Audience members are given the chance to create messages and images related to this piece of lost art, while eight dancers perform their response to it.

STEP AFRIKA! at Marcus Garvey Park (Aug. 17, 7 p.m.). This celebrated company, formed in 1994 and based in Washington, D.C., drops in on New York courtesy of City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage series for a technique class appropriate for all ages and levels that starts at 7 p.m., and a performance that begins at 8. This group presents its innovative merging of traditional African dance and step in which the performers — dazzlingly nimble and rhythmic — make music with their bodies. It’s a no-brainer: Step Afrika! is a reason for a walk in the park.


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