Battery Dance TV
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Dance Diplomacy with Jonathan
With Ramli Ibrahim, Artistic Director, Sutra Dance Theatre and
Joseph Gonzales, Founder and Artistic Director of ASK Dance Company
Performances by ASK Dance and Sutra Dance Theatre,
Malaysian Folk Dance Class
Solo Performance by Rathimalar Govindarajoo, Kuala Lumpur
|Photos are available for download at:
Battery Dance launched Battery Dance TV on March 27, 2020 at https://batterydance.org/dancetv/ to provide free live dance classes and programming for the general public by Battery Dance and affiliated artists through a regularly scheduled program. Faced with the cancellation of its New York City public school dance classes and the postponement of its State Department Nigeria tour, and with its popular dance studios closed, the company staff members went into high gear (from living rooms and kitchens), creating online content. In its first five weeks, Battery Dance TV has been seen by more than 50,000 viewers in over 100 countries.
A regular Sunday interview program hosted by Battery Dance’s Founder Jonathan Hollander has already brought together artists from the U.S., Bangladesh, Canada, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Kenya, Mexico and Poland as well as American and foreign diplomats who have programmed the arts as a way of bringing people together and encouraging peaceful understanding and cultural exchange. International guest artist classes and solo performances continue to be presented following the interviews.
The conversation on Sunday, May 10 brings viewers to the Far East, where two iconic figures in the world of dance opine on the past, present and future of their field with the perspectives of the coronavirus quarantine in Malaysia and the lockdown that followed on the heels of the “Umbrella Movement” protests in Hong Kong.
Hollander reconnects with Ramli Ibrahim of Sutra Dance Theatre and Joseph Gonzales, formerly head of dance at ASWARA, the national arts academy of Malaysia, and now a leader at the acclaimed Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, after having worked with them on several occasions during his tenure as a Fulbright awardee and with grants from the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Department of State. What derives from their exchange is the inextinguishable passion for dance of these two charismatic Malaysians despite the different paths they have taken in their long and illustrious careers.
Following the conversation will be performances by two Malaysian dance companies – ASK Dance Company and Sutra Dance Theatre. Later the same day, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively, a Malaysian folk dance class and a solo performance by Rathimalar Govindarajoo will be featured.
“Battery Dance TV allows us to continue connecting people across the world through dance at this time of social distancing and isolation,” says Hollander. “We and everyone we know at home and abroad are facing emotional, psychological, physical and financial challenges. For 44 years, we have explored the power of dance as an art form and a means for social impact and connection. We found a way to continue now when the need is so great, and my respected friends and colleagues Ramli and Joseph illustrate the fact that far-flung dance leaders have done so too.”
Battery Dance TV’s regularly scheduled offerings include:
- morning warmup/stretching/conditioning exercises to start your day off right
- mid-day classes in contemporary dance with afro, ballet and jazz fusion elements
- evening classes in varied ballroom styles
- a daily 4pm short video by dancers performing in their living rooms
Battery Dance will tap into its international network to host Artists Talks every Sunday at 9:00 AM (Eastern Time) with performers based in New York and from around the world, followed by Sunday classes in international dance genres such as Bharatanatyam dance from India, and African Fusion from South Africa.
Battery Dance also plans to expand its distance learning and programming by including online classes in lighting and production design, and classes in arts administration and cultural diplomacy. In the future, the Company plans to add short performances by youth around the world who will create short dances based on a specific weekly theme suggested by the Company.
Morning Classes & Instructors
Flow – Vivake Khamsingsavath
Stretch & Strength – Mira Cook
Conditioning – Sean Scantlebury
Afternoon Contemporary Classes & Instructors
Jazz Fusion – Jill Linkowski
Ballet Fusion – Bethany Mitchell
Storytelling & Repertoire – Hussein Smko
Afro Fusion – Sean Scantlebury
Evening Ballroom Classes & Instructor
Cha Cha, Salsa, Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Rumba, Swing – Razvan Stoian
Artistic Director & Founder, Sutra Dance Theatre
Chairman, Sutra Foundation
First Dance Awardee of the Indian Government with title of Padma Shri
First Malaysian to receive Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (India’s equivalent of the National Endowment for the Arts)
Accomplished in ballet, modern, and Indian classical dances, Ramli Ibrahim is one of Malaysia’s most highly recognized figures in the field of dance, bestowed with the honorific of “Datuk”. He has performed internationally for four decades including appearances at the Battery Dance Festival and at Asia Society and Hunter College Playhouse, presented by the late Indrani.
As artistic director and founder of Sutra Dance Theatre, Ramli has choreographed numerous works, and has nurtured some of the brightest dance talents from Malaysia such as Sooraj Subramaniam, Rathimalar Goovindaraju and Mavin Khoo.
Since his return to Malaysia more than thirty years ago from Australia where he studied and performed with the Sydney Dance Company, he has been instrumental in transforming the dance scene in Malaysia by charting new paths, and singlehandedly establishing the Indian classical dance form of Odissi as a widely appreciated dance form in Malaysia.
Besides Odissi, Ramli has also simultaneously contributed to the establishment of Malaysian contemporary modern dance through the creation of a strong body of original works, which define ‘modernity’ from Asian perspectives.
PROFESSOR JOSEPH GONZALES
Head of Academic Studies in Dance and Postgraduate Program Leader (Dance)
Apart from a versatile performer and a prolific choreographer, Professor Joseph Gonzales is also a recognized expert in the choreography and interpretation of traditional dances in Malaysia, prominent in the field of dance pedagogy with a vision to educate, inspire and nourish new generations of young dancers to pursuit their dreams. Since 2016, he became Head of Academic Studies and Postgraduate Programme Leader in Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). He is currently teaching Dance Perspectives, Improvisation and supervising Thesis Project Seminar and Research Project.
Prior to his tenure at the HKAPA, Joseph was a lecturer at the Faculty of Dance at ASWARA (National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage) in Malaysia since 1994 and served as its Dean of Dance from 1998-2015, with a professional performing career that spans more than 3 decades and across genres, from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles and Seoul, from traditional dance to contemporary performances and musical theatre. He has worked as a teacher for the Federal Academy of Ballet in Malaysia, Assistant Artistic Director and choreographer for Kuala Lumpur Dance Theatre, and as performer with St. Moritz Gold Band and the UK National Tour and West End production of The King and I.
Joseph holds a PhD in Dance Studies and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Malaya, Masters of Arts (Professional Practice – Choreography) from Middlesex University, Diplomas in Ballet, Modern Dance and Performing Arts, Advanced National Dance from the Royal Academy of Dance, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and the London Studio Centre. He was Co-President of the Asian Dance Committee, Seoul, South Korea (2011-2017), Vice-President South East Asia World Dance Alliance (2011-2016), and has been serving as adjudicator for the Singapore Youth Festival since 2008, and Sprouts, a young choreographers’ platform in Singapore.
He is Founder-Artistic Director of ASK Dance Company, a full-time company established in 2011 and garnered unparalleled corporate sponsorship via the ‘Building Bridges’ project that tours nationally providing free workshops and performances funded by the Sime Darby Foundation. He has played a significant role in enabling a generation of young dance artists to pursue post-graduate studies, participate in prestigious international projects as well as produce their performances with competitive grants and scholarships. His significant productions include Panchali Sabatham (Bharatanatyam), Main Zapin (traditional Malay), 3 Faces (mixed bill) and Seru (contemporary) among others. He has created more than 50 short works, choreographed 4 musical theatre productions, 3 full-length contemporary works.
Joseph is a notable choreographer with great diversity of style. He has been working in all genres of dance, theater and musical theatre, with innumerable dance works that have been staged at local and international festivals. He is a dance advocate who constantly works for greater professionalism in the dance industry in Malaysia. He produces several dance productions every year, he wrote Malaysia’s first books on contemporary dance, he curates for local and international dance festivals, he presents his research at conferences, and most importantly, he is a perennial student who is constantly driven to “seize the day”! He has had a career as a newsreader on television, he is as well an avid sports fanatic who worked for years as a sportscaster for radio and television on major sports broadcasts, such as the World Cup, the Olympics, Formula One, International Badminton, while hosting talk radio programs, and currently still appears as judge on reality dance programs in Malaysia.
Joseph was the recipient of the Crosscultural Champion of the Arts in 2007 and the Gamechanger Award in 2019 at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in Malaysia. He has garnered more than 20 awards for productions including Best Choreographer in 2016 for Becoming King…the Pakyung Revisited, Best Production (Music) for Maya: Gong Illusions and more.
ABOUT BATTERY DANCE
As one of America’s leading cultural ambassadors, Battery Dance connects the world through dance. The Company pursues artistic excellence and social relevance by creating vibrant new works, performing on the world’s stages, presenting dance in public spaces, serving the field of dance and teaching people of all ages with special attention to the disadvantaged and areas of conflict. Battery Dance is committed to enhancing the cultural vibrancy of its home community in New York City, extending programming throughout the U.S., and building bridges worldwide through international cultural exchange with programs in 70 countries to date. www.batterydance.org