Dancing to Connect, Poznan
American Representation at Polish Dance Theatre's Dancing Poznan Annual Summer Festival
Two of Battery Dance’s senior teaching artists, Sean Scantlebury and Mira Cook, participated in the Dancing Poznan 2015 Festival. They taught an array of master classes and workshops reaching approximately 80 students from all over Poland. They performed in two concerts, both mixed bills with the host company Polski Teatr Tanca. They also completed a Dancing to Connect workshop with twenty participants who created and performed an original work of choreography on the final evening of the festival. By all accounts, their participation was a major success for PTT and for Battery Dance, coming just a week after PTT had performed and taught in the Battery Dance Festival in New York City (the Polish company’s New York debut.) This symmetrical exchange was a vibrant example of bilateral international engagement between Polish and American artists, companies, audiences and students.
Mira taught two daily ballet classes to mixed age and level, 20 – 25 students in each class of 90-minutes each. A live accompanist was provided which enhanced the quality of the classes immeasurably (in New York, the practice of having live accompanists for dance classes has waned in recent years, due to the economy and the challenging state of support for the arts.) She felt the students were very diligent and lovely personalities despite their lack of prior training.
Sean taught a contemporary dance class each morning with 20 students; and coached the Dancing to Connect workshops every afternoon with another cohort of 20 students. He was very impressed with the commitment and motivation of the participants and commented that the audience for the DtC performance was astonished to find out that the students themselves had created the choreography over the course of only 6 days of training.