On Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4, The Battery will jump-start its 2022 summer series, “Playscape Performs,” with a wildly imaginative dance performance - free for the whole family. Warrie Price, the visionary behind revamping and revitalizing The Battery for nearly three decades, is collaborating with world-renowned choreographer and creative director David Parsons, his company Parsons Dance and the talented fourth and fifth graders at Ballet Tech, the NYC Public School for Dance, to present the first-ever dance inspired by a playground. The performance, entitled “About Sprouts,” kicks off The Battery’s summer activities, which are funded by The Battery Conservancy - the organization responsible for transforming the city’s birthplace park. The dance will feature members of Parsons Dance, 60 student dancers from Ballet Tech, and 100 artfully-crafted aerial puppets soaring majestically among gardens, trees, clouds and water views of New York Harbor.
The dance will explore Playscape’s ecology-rich landscape that fits contextually with the surrounding backdrops of downtown skyscrapers and iconic waterscapes that include the Statue of Liberty. Opened in December 2021 after a complete resign by BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, Playscape ushers in a new generation of play and invites children of all ages to experience the joy and creativity of nature through sustainably-built treehouses, towering granite slides, five ecology zones, and ShowBox, the first theater in a NYC playground.
“For me, the daring innovations of Playscape ignited the joining of dance and childhood adventure,” said David Parsons, Founder and Artistic Director of Parsons Dance. “Parsons and Ballet Tech bring a new dimension to the endless possibilities emerging dancers will explore within play and nature: so rare in urban life.”
Playscape Performs is free to the public on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4 with shows at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. each day. Additionally, puppet shows will take place each day at ShowBox. Guests should arrive at The Battery entrance across from 17 State St. Following its premiere weekend, Playscape Performs will offer free shows and performances the first weekend of each month, July through September, including a showcase of celebrated puppeteer Hobey Ford’s ANIMALIA on September 10. Throughout the season, guests can visit The Battery any day to witness firsthand how the land is a performance in its own right with magic and wonder tucked into every corner.
“We designed Playscape to flood and recover after Hurricane Sandy, and now to see it become this canvas for creativity, and spontaneity in dance is just a joy,” said Warrie Price, Founder and President at The Battery. “We’ve created something unusual and unique in Playscape, and we’re thrilled to see it stimulate this incredible collaboration. I am honored to have the incomparable David Parsons and Ballet Tech’s Dionne Figgins inaugurate our season with what will be a first-of-its-kind, fantastical performance at Battery Playscape . Every aspect of our park is made possible by generous New Yorkers and we hope that all who appreciate its beauty and wonder this summer - and beyond - may consider making a donation so we can continue to provide our community with this downtown treasure.”
About The Battery:
Located at the Southern tip of Manhattan, The Battery is a 25 acre NYC public park welcoming millions of New Yorkers and visitors every year. A beautiful respite from the bustling downtown streets and towering high rises that surround it, the multi-faceted landscape embodies the resilient and imaginative spirit of New York, while providing beauty, fun, and restorative calm for all who step foot on its grounds.
A convergence of nature, design, play and performance:
1,555 foot Battery Bikeway connects Hudson River Park to the East River Esplanade, creating a 31-mile waterfront bikeway that encircles Manhattan
240,000 square feet of gardens
1-acre educational farm that grows over 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers
Multi-colony bee village operated by our partners at The Honeybee Conservancy
Fintastic aquarium themed SeaGlass Carousel
How to support The Battery: The Battery Conservancy (TBC) maintains and creates cultural programs through the generosity of private individuals and corporations. TBC was founded by Warrie Price who has made it her life’s mission to unlock the natural beauty of this historic site and the communities she serves through ecological conservation and innovation. Through summer programming and events like Playscape Performs, Warrie and her team hope to continue to raise awareness and support for The Battery so New Yorkers can continue to build lifelong memories there.
For those comfortable enough to do so, donations - no matter the size - are not only appreciated but crucial in continuing to beautify and restore the park.
For more information on Playscape Performs and The Battery, or to make a donation, please visit www.thebattery.org