Battery Dance Company worked here in June - July 2008.
Professional modern dancers from New York City brought their art form to Germany in the summer of 2008. Whilst in Berlin, the company reached out to five schools in Berlin as part of the Dancing to Connect program.
Dance is a universal language, and its appeal as a vehicle for self-expression has been demonstrated amply through earlier versions of the Dancing to Connect program during trips to Germany 2006 and 2007. Following up on their successful experiment and having built international bridges between the U.S. and Germany through the art of dance, the American dancers significantly expanded their outreach in 2008.
BDC's trip to Berlin was made possible through partnering with the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, the City Governments of Stuttgart and Freiburg. The company recieved additional support from the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung, and Cerberus Deutschland among others.
Throughout all of these programs, the thematic core of tolerance, integration and inter-cultural understanding is embedded into the choreography and addressed while building dance skills. The lingua franca (English) and the universal languages of dance and music build communicative bridges among students who represent diverse populations, immigrant and native, high-performing and educationally-challenged, Christian and Muslim. Likewise, the American professionals cross bridges in mentoring their youthful German charges.
During the workshops in Berlin the students explored their own feelings and sensations, some new and surprising. They related to each other and to the teaching artists across generational, gender, ethnic, religious and social differences, converting their explorations into physical expression. The discovery of the self goes hand in hand with the discovery of the other.
The workshop programs in Berlin culminated in a performance at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele (which co-presented the event) as part of the activities celebrating the opening of the new U.S. Embassy. Assistant Secretary Colleen Graffy provided a welcome address for the audience and Counselor for Public Affairs Helena Kane Finn congratulated the young performers and their families in German at reception following the performance.