Year » 2019

Honduras 2019

March 2019

Dancing to Connect worked with youth in San Pedro Sula deemed at risk to impacts of the county's high levels of violence. Three new works of choreography were created and premiered.


  • March 3 - 9, 2019


  • U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa
  • U.S. Department of State

Project Activities

  • 4 Dancing to Connect workshops
  • 2 performances
  • Theatre lighting and technical training session
  • Grant writing workshop


  • Centro Cultural Sampedrano

Responding to high levels of violence across Honduras, Battery Dance conducted its Dancing To Connect Program with a focus on gender based violence and female empowerment. Battery worked with 75 youth, creating 3 new pieces for 2 public performances at the end of the trip. We were determined to establish sustainability from these workshops too; teaching skills aimed to empower and support the growth of dance and the arts in Honduras. Therefore they were also attended by 4 trainees, and included tech, lighting and grant writing sessions.

This program was timed alongside International Women's Day. What better way to spend the day than bringing the community together to celebrate dance whilst tackling questions about gender based violence. Indeed, March 8th offered the perfect opportunity to showcase the collaboration.

Mexico 2019

Mexico, Mexico
June 2019

Dancing to Connect in Mexico City


  • June 3 - 8, 2019


  • U.S. Embassy Mexico City
  • U.S. Department of State

Program Specifics

  • 5 new works of choreography created
  • Performance at the Feria Internacional de las Culturas Amigas Festival


  • Faro Oriente
  • Faro Azcapotzalco (Poniente)
  • Faro Aragon
  • Faro Tlahuac
  • Faro Indios Verdes
  • Performance: Bosque de Chapultepec

Battery's first venture to Mexico reached a total of 100 youths. Workshops were carried out at 5 Faros across the city. We came to learn that Faro translates to 'Lighthouse', a fitting name for the community cultural centers that hosted us.

During a full week of workshops and rehearsals the students worked with Battery to create 5 brand new pieces of work in the lead up to the Feria Internacional de las Culturas Amigas Festival. The annual festival featured representatives of 89 countries from across the world; a melting pot of cultures for us to premier our new works within.

Germany 2019

Wittenberg, Dessau, Cottbus, Weinheim, Kassel, Germany
September 2019

Battery Dance conducted the fourth year of Dancing to Connect workshops across four Federal States of Germany in September/October, 2019. Over the 34 day program, the Company of seven brought the project back to cities where it had worked before -- DessauRoßlau, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Weinheim -- and expanded its reach to Cottbus and Kassel. The programs were characterized by a two-pronged approach with highly attended marquee performances coupled with outreach programs targeting refugee and non-refugee youth.


  • Wittenberg, Dessau: September 11-17, 2019
  • Cottbus: September 18-26, 2019
  • Weinheim: September 27-October 6, 2019
  • Kassel: October 7– 13, 2019


  • German Federal Ministry for Economic & Energy Affairs
  • U.S. Embassy Berlin
  • Schöpflin Stiftung
  • Qatar Foundation International

    Program Activities:

  • 20 Dancing to Connect Workshops
  • 5 Public Performances
  • 2 Film Screenings of Moving Stories
  • Teacher Training
  • 1 Short Documentary Film (Click here to view! Password: Connect Kassel)


  • Stadthalle Cottbus
  • Stadthalle Weinheim
  • SOZO, Halle 2 (Kassel)

  • Wittenberg, Dessau 2019

    Three workshops were organized in the city of Wittenberg and two in Dessau- Roßlau, building on relationships developed over prior years with Sachsen-Anhalt State education officers as well as individual schools in some cases. The workshop participants ranged in age from 14 – 20 with a wide range of abilities, most with no prior dance training. Five local German dance teachers were recruited to serve as teacher-trainees and teachers from each school also observed and in some cases assisted the Battery Dance teaching artists.

    The final performance took place in an historic military exercise hall, redesigned as a community gathering space. The city arranged for a portable stage to be erected, lighting grid installed and back curtains hung and a large two-part tent put up as a changing area. A nearby gymnasium was reserved by the city as a back-up space for the students to warm up, have a catered meal in between stage rehearsals and performance and to store their backpacks and street clothes during the performance.

    By the time the performance began, every seat in the hall was filled and children and families found spots on the floor in front and side of the stage for overflow. The crowd was remarkable for its diversity. Families of the refugee and immigrant participants attended in large numbers which is not always the case. A standing ovation ended the evening with a great feeling of camaraderie and good spirit.


    Despite challenges in participant attendance, we were fortunate to have successful workshops and performances in Cottbus. We were able to achieve meetings with city officials and the head of one of the larger comprehensive schools, as well as the director of the Stadthalle, resulting in the cobbling together of several groups of students as well as the lowering of prices charged by the Stadthalle for the technical setup, rehearsal and performance. Fortunately, the date for the final Dancing to Connect performance fit into the Interkulturelle Woche – a City-wide festival of intercultural events. This, along with last-minute word of mouth, secured us a large and enthusiastic crowd at the performance and a beautiful review in the local newspaper.

    We were supported in Cottbus by two professional dancers from Berlin who commuted to Cottbus each day. Amr Karkout and Medhat Aldaabal, both Syrian refugees who have settled in Germany, served as teacher trainees in previous Battery Dance programs. They have become equipped with the skills to support the Dancing to Connect program. We included solos by each Amr and Medhat in the final performance – a practice we had not done before; but which seemed natural and added variety to the program.


    Returning to Weinheim was a welcome relief since our partners there, Alexander Haas, Halo Azad and Eva Gersbach had worked with us twice before and had taken care of many preliminaries before we arrived. The Stadthalle was once again donated by the City of Weinheim. Syrian refugee Saeed Hani served for the second time as a teacher trainee, traveling from the City of Trier, and staying with the group in Weinheim for the duration of the tour. Having had a successful experience with Amr and Medhat in Cottbus, Battery Dance invited Saeed to perform in Weinheim and he presented a beautiful solo.


    Preparatory Visit

    Artistic Director and Project Manager Jonathan Hollander and Production Designer Leonardo Hidalgo spent a day in Kassel a week prior to the start of the program.  They met with Charlene Hackley for the purpose of confirming all of the details of what was a first-time program in Kassel.  They met local host institutions, visited all of the workshop spaces as well as the performance venue, met with the vendors who were providing the lighting and sound equipment for the performance, met Charlene's office supervisor who had approved the project, and checked out the hotel where the group would be staying and the public transportation hub nearby.  Charlene had done a meticulous job with the arrangements, and they returned to Weinheim the same evening, feeling confident that the program would be managed well.  

    Tragedy in Halle

    On October 9th, the first day of the Dancing to Connect workshops in Kassel, an anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic attack targeting a synagogue and kebab store occurred in Halle, just two hours away. The attack and our learning the story of the ”controversial” Monument to Strangers and Refugees, pictured right, reinforced our mission in Kassel and demonstrated the continued need in the region to bring people together to change perceptions and build unity.


    The Dancing to Connect workshops took place at a variety of community locations across the city of Kassel over the course of four days, for five hours each day. The 44 youth who participated in the program were dedicated to the workshop process and schedules. Ages of the participants ranged from 11 – 26. Half of participants identified as being German. The remaining participants identified nationalities from 14 different countries. Through the workshops, the participants had an opportunity to express themselves in a new way and to explore their creativity. Sequential activities were utilized to first get participants comfortable with self-expression, creative movement, and one-another, and later to get participants to find out more about themselves and those they were working with. Through this process, five new original dance works were created by the workshop groups that told the stories of the participants.

    Six local dancers assisted with the workshops, mirroring Battery Dance’s teaching artists. Through their participation, and exposure to Battery Dance’s teacher training manual, the local dancers were trained over the course of the week in the Dancing to Connect methodology.

    Film Screening

    A free public screening of Moving Stories, which chronicles Battery Dance’s work across four countries, had its first Germany premiere at the Gloria Kino Theatre in Kassel. Approximately 75 audience members made up of Dancing to Connect participants, their families, and the general public attended.


    The five original student works premiered at SOZO Visions In Motion Halle 2. Prior to the performance, Production Director Leonardo Hidalgo worked with technical staff and equipment vendors to set up the lighting, sound, and raised seating in the large studio. To accommodate an overflow audience, black curtains were also removed from adjacent the seating area. Two performances took place at 5pm and at 7pm. Each performance had an overflow audience of 150 each, with some audience members standing, and students sitting on mats placed on the ground.

    Both performances elicited rapturous applause from participants, encouraging and motivating their fellow students, and from the audience that watched the emotional stories of the students performed on stage. While the stamina of the participants, especially the younger students, to perform in a second performance was of concern prior to performance day, this proved to be a non-concern as students gained even greater momentum and energy after the first performance.

    Short Film

    A short film that documents the process and performance in Kassel was shot by Murad Abu-Eisheh, a Jordanian filmmaker living in Germany as an international fellow at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Murad’s most recent documentary was featured at DOK.fest Munchen.

    Germany 2019

    Germany 2019