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The internationally-acclaimed New York City based dance troupe Battery Dance Company presented its Dhaka debut titled ‘Dancing for Peace and Tolerance’ at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in the capital on Saturday evening.
‘Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind’- Mahatma Ghandi’s desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance and nonviolence reflected through the performance.
The event was supported by the US Embassy Dhaka, the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Through the 90-minute performance, the audience witnessed a celebration of peace between dancers of different cultures and colors, backgrounds and beliefs – emblematic of harmony through diversity.
The evening began with a performance titled ‘Shakti’ under the artistic direction of Jonathan Hollander and it was performed by the artistes of Battery Dance Company, namely Robin Cantrell, Mira Cook, Clement Mensah, Bethany Mitchell, Sean Scantelbury and Unnath Hassan Rathnaraju (guest dancer).
Battery Dance Company’s other performance included ‘Observatory’, ‘Terra and Astra’ and ‘People Get Ready’.
To make the program a bilateral between USA and Bangladesh, Shadhona Cultural Circle, one of the most prominent cultural organizations in Bangladesh as well in the sub-continent, was included in the event. Artistes of Shadhona Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Lubna Marium, presented a performance titled ‘Ultraviolet’.
The program concluded with the performance titled ‘People Get Ready’ performed by the artistes of Battery Dance Company-- Robin Cantrell & Sean Scantlebury. It was choreographed by Jonathan Hollander.
Young talented singer Shwapnil Shojib from Bangladesh joined the troupe as a guest appearance who sang the impression ‘People get ready, There's a train a-coming’, originally sung by American singer-songwriter and guitarist Curtis Mayfield.
Attending the program, US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat delivered speech before the dance troupe took the stage.
Battery Dance’s Executive Director Jonathan Hollander, who is also the founder of the troupe, said about performing in Dhaka, ‘Battery Dance is honored to join with the people of Bangladesh in dancing to promote peace and tolerance. Dance creates the relationship between the people. We don’t have any cover on the stage. If it’s possible to remove this cover in the field of relationship in between the countries, then there will be no complexity and conflict. We want to spread this message through the rhythms of dance.’
To note, Battery Dance Company from New York City connects the world through dance. For the past 42 years Battery Dance Company has performed on world tours while simultaneously collaborating with local artists teaching master classes, engaging in lectures and technical training and conducting its signature arts education program Dancing to Connect in over 62 countries worldwide.
Battery Dance’s history of reaching diverse international audiences has earned the organization a reputation of being a leader in cultural diplomacy.
Source: The Independent.