Battery Dance Premieres Dance Film "CITY OF DREAMS"
Battery Dance is pleased to announce the film premiere of City of Dreams on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at 2pm, 3:30pm and 5pm at L'Entree Wine Bar, 293 Church Street, NYC. Each screening includes a 15-minute film showing, Prosecco & hors d'oeuvres, and a post-screening audience Q&A with Robin Cantrell and Battery Dance company members. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at batterydance.org/city-of-dreams/. On March 14, the film will be posted online and will be available to view for free through March 29, 2022. Watch a trailer for the film on Battery Dance's YouTube channel.
A celebration of all that New York City inspires, City of Dreams is a short dance film by choreographer Robin Cantrell featuring Battery Dance company members and original music from Alexis Gideon, Bethany Mitchell, and Mira Cook. With moments that pay tribute to great dance films and to New York itself, City of Dreams takes you on a journey between realism and heightened reality.
While making City of Dreams, Cantrell wanted to showcase the diversity of the Battery company dancers and their home of New York City, paying homage to dance films that showcase the city, such as West Side Story.
"Since the company travels all over the world I thought it would be important for people who've often never even been to the United States to see where Battery comes from," said choreographer and director Robin Cantrell. "I based the vignettes around two of my favorite aspects of living in the city: putting on my headphones and giving myself a cinematic experience as I make my way through the city, and the idea that when you set out in the city with no agenda, you can be swept up in things you never anticipated and that's where the magic happens. You just have to be open and receptive."
In the film, we follow a female protagonist throughout locations meaningful to Battery Dance: just down the street in Chinatown, Wagner Park, and the World Trade Center site. The audience is never certain if we are viewing reality or a fantasy life.
The first portion of the film is inspired by Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, and the musical "Hair," while the second portion is inspired by Fred Astaire. The third portion of the film explores experimental camera use: the sequence was choreographed backward and shot in reverse, so that while it appears to be unfolding normally, the viewer can tell something is a little off.
"Robin is such an imaginative director," said dancer Jillian Linkowski. "She sees her vision completely. From the camera angle, to the expression on our faces, to the stream of light glimmering from the corner of the frame; she is so deliberate. She knows exactly what she wants while allowing for input from us, the dancers. Her musicality and ability to tell a story make her a joy to work with."
"It was an insightful learning experience working with Robin," said dancer Vivake Khamsingsavath. "She came in with this wild idea, but in action, it made entire sense. I admire her imagination and felt compelled with her way of storytelling. She gave Sarah and I a voice on the movement creation. It was a very symbiotic relationship."
"Working with Robin is a gift to any dancer," said dancer Sarah Housepian. "She creates with such articulation while allowing an artist to use their voice individually within the work. This vignette was especially challenging because the majority of the choreography was created in retrograde, or backwards, and it was filmed in one take. This provided a fascinating end product when it was edited."
ABOUT ROBIN CANTRELL
Robin Cantrell is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, and was a member of Battery Dance from 2008-2020. She previously danced with City Ballet of San Diego, Ballet Deviare, and Rioult. She also directs Indelible Dance Company, her own performing arts company and dances with Gabrielle Lamb and Rebecca Kelly Ballet. She holds a BFA in ballet performance and a degree in anthropology from the University of Utah.
ABOUT BATTERY DANCE
Battery Dance exists to create lasting social impact by increasing human understanding through the universal expression of dance. Founded by Jonathan Hollander in 1976, a former Fulbright Lecturer in India, recipient of a choreography fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Federal Cross of Merit from the President of Germany, Battery Dance created its outdoor summer festival 40 years ago with the goal of introducing dance of all genres, free to the public, in its downtown home base. Battery Dance is committed to enhancing the cultural vibrancy of New York City, making the Arts accessible to New York City public school students, extending dance programming throughout the U.S., and building bridges worldwide through international cultural exchange with programs in 70 countries to date.