Arrival: The Company was greeted at the airport by U.S. Embassy Budapest’s CAO Dmitri Tarakhovsky who accompanied the team to the beautiful InterContinental Budapest. The InterContinental provided reduced-rate accommodations for BDC’s stay in addition to access to the executive lounge. Tarakhovsky, worked diligently over the next day to secure from Tarom Airways the lost luggage of Deputy Director Emad Salem, which arrived at the hotel the following day.
Master-classes: The day after arrival and the morning of performance day, the BDC team, accompanied by the Embassy’s FSN Monika Vali, split-up and conducted master classes across different locations in Budapest. Over two days, nine master classes were held at the Hungarian Dance College taught by BDC Teaching Artists Clement Menshah, Mira Cook, and Robin Cantrell; at the Budapest Contemporary Dance College, taught by BDC Teaching Artist Carmen Nicole Smith, and at the Jurányia Inkubátorház taught by Sean Scantlebury. A total of 90 participants took part in the classes. In addition, Salem and Cantrell conducted an arts administration lecture with 30 dancers at the Budapest Contemporary Dance College, and Cantrell provided advice and answered questions on career development and the life of a dancer in New York City for 12 international dancers at the Hungarian Dance College. One participant, Kati Basca, travelled 80 miles to Budapest to take part in the workshops. Kati previously visited Battery Dance Company’s studios in Manhattan in summer, 2012. Kati said of the workshops: “I cannot be grateful enough [for the attention paid to me], [to provide] me access to the classes and the performance! The two days [were] full of energy, impressions, and I got a lot of good feelings! I am very thankful, and I hope, someday I can repay you. I never thought that [I could have such an honor]. I very much appreciate what I got! Thank you again and also very often. I wish you the best, with whole heart.”
Performance: After a full day of technical setup by BDC Production Director G. Benjamin Swope, the dancers rehearsed on-stage and performed for a capacity audience of nearly 300 that included old and new friends, including Kovács Gerzson Péter, one of Hungary’s foremost choreographers, Adrienne Nagys, formerly of the Hungarian Cultural Center in New York, and Andrew Somogyi, former cultural officer at the U.S. Embassy Budapest. The audience showed its appreciation with three curtain calls. Somogyi said of the performance: “Only positives to broadcast! Full house, fantastic theatre for the performance, innovative musical composition, great multi-directional audio sound equipment, amazing dancers and very lovely choreography. The pace and length of the evening was quite appropriate and the performance had a genuine American sense of presence, an energetic view toward the future, a hopefulness that you do not see here performed in our theatres.” The full house was a surprise, given the fact that Budapest was socked in after 3 days of snowfall.