Press & Media
Three members of Battery Dance Company conducted a Dancing to Connect program in Bucharest, Romania, as a collaboration with Tangaj Dance and Policy Center for Roma and Minorities. This program built on the partnerships that have been established with these two Romanian institutions and included both workshops and performance elements.
Two workshops of 20+ hours each were conducted with students from School 136, School 148 and Trouble Crew that resulted in the creation of two original pieces of choreography that were performed at the WASP space.
The teaching artists of Battery Dance Company, Mira Cook and Clement Mensah, worked with a split groups of youth. One half were ages 11-17. Many had some experience with hip hop and some had none; none of the students had taken part in contemporary dance training and/or creative dance. Several of the participants identified themselves as "Roma". The younger students were joined by older members of the Trouble Crew, a hip hop team, mostly in their early 20s. The situation was ideal because the older students were willing and able to mentor the younger ones.
Tangaj member Razvan Stoian partnered with Mira Cook, assisting her with translation and running the workshops, and learning the techniques and strategies of the Dancing to Connect methodology which Battery Dance Company has implemented in over 40 countries to date.
Mira Cook reports: ‘When I asked some of my young students why they chose to dance, one 12-year-old boy said that he had seen Mati (one of the Trouble Crew dancers who was in my workshop) perform, and had been inspired to start dancing. He ended up doing a duet in the performance with Mati and so was able to work directly with his idol. The group was very positive and I feel like we were able to bring out the best and most motivated sides of each other. We had fun and worked hard.’
In addition to managing the workshops, Battery Dance Company Vice President Emad Salem also engaged in meetings with the leadership of Tangaj Dance and Minority Center, exchanging information, strategies and visions for collaboration in the future.