At Eight Tribeca Art Galleries, Dancers Become Part of the Show

Mira Cook performs at Grimm Gallery during the Battery Dance Company's Tribeca Gallery Crawl on Nov. 20. Painting at right is "Yesterday's News," by Daniel Richter. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Nov. 21, 2021

Tribeca’s burgeoning gallery scene got even more to show on Saturday as dancers, moving among the works on view at eight neighborhood venues, added artistry of their own.

The Tribeca Gallery Crawl, presented by the Tribeca-based Battery Dance Company, featured improvised performances by company members, each in a different gallery space, providing an engaging two-hour counterpoint to the current visual offerings.

“I’ve always been attracted to visual arts and I love galleries and I love my neighborhood,” said Jonathan Hollander, Battery Dance founder and creative director. “So to see unused, rundown storefronts become these beautiful spaces is really inspiring and exciting.”

“It was natural and easy to imagine this,” he added.

Some 200 people, Hollander said, hopped from performance to performance. Regular gallery-goers, in the meantime, were in for a surprise, though not everyone chose to be distracted by the dancers. “I didnt take it as rude,” Hollander said. “I took it as they made a decision to look at the art, and they’re going to stick to it.

Hollander billed the gallery crawl a “first annual” event, but he’s now rethinking that. “Several of the galleries were so welcoming and so happy,” he said. “I don’t see why we should wait a whole year to do it again.”

The Trib asked each of the dancers to share a brief written thought about their experience at the Tribeca Gallery Crawl. Those responses, below, accompany their photos.

Photographs by Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib


Vivake Khamsingsavath at CHART


“8 Americans” at CHART showcases the work of  eight Asian Artists, curated by Clara Ha to share their voice during a time of adversity in the world, specifically in the Asian community.  I was inspired by the theme of trauma as a foundation for creation and, as a result, a means to heal as it relates to Asian American identity. As a Laotian American, I explored how The Secret War in Laos factors in to who I am today as an American. There was a strong sense of empathy and solidarity in sharing my vision with the artists and the audience.


Sara Seger at David Lewis Gallery


Performing for Battery Dance’s first annual Gallery Crawl is now a highlight of my career. Bringing the works of Claire Lehmann to life was not only a physical endeavor, but one of intense intimacy. Unlike the proscenium settings most dancers frequent, this experience allowed me to directly interact with the spectators and bring them into the haunting world of Claire’s work. We were in it together and this sense of community I will never take for granted.


Sean Scantlebury at Andrew Kreps Gallery


Moshekwa Langa is a South African artist and his work reminded me of the performances and collaborations I have done with Battery Dance in South Africa in the past. His work was laying across the hardwood floor and the walls upstairs which would have been good for dancing. But I chose to use the lower level space to allow the audience the unusual vantage point of looking down at me—a bird’s eye view—or to come down and join me in the more intimate space with one large artwork on the wall whose patterns I transformed into movement. This is a gallery that felt like home, and I would love to do it again


Sarah Housepian at Jane Lombard Gallery


Being able to perform in the Jane Lombard Gallery was truly an honor. To be completely surrounded by art and having it constantly feed and inform my movement was an endless thread of inspiration. It allowed me to dive into each artist’s work and become a 3D version of the artwork.

Razvan Stoian at R & Company

I found my inspiration in Verner Panton's artwork from his being the first Danish artist who used plastic for his designs. Reflecting on his work I decided to incorporate plastic as part of my performance as he did. Improvising and interacting around Verner's designs in a web of plastic foil was my way of connecting to his creative universe.


Mira Cook at Grimm

I want to focus on improvisation a lot more in general, because I think it's a way to find more of a personal movement style and is also a sustainable practice for the rest of my life, because I don't intend to stop dancing. This was a great motivator to practice improvisation and dancing in the moment. I did improvise at my house all week to try to get into the right headspace.


Randall Riley at Kapp Kapp 


Yesterday was a unique exchange between art, audience and community. Vital moments we need to offer both wherever and whenever possible in New York City but also abroad.
Jillian Linkowski at Projekt 105
I wanted to create a journey, a pathway for myself into the realm of the art being exhibited. I used tape on the ground to striate the open space into rooms in which I could occupy and relate to the artworks individually. The geometric shapes translated to strict and angular movement while the rounded shapes informed more fluid movement. What an exciting challenge to stay in improvisation for such a duration. I am very grateful for the opportunity to interact with such incredible artists and artworks.
Durgesh Gangani at R & Company

Normally when I perform I don’t get the opportunity to be so up close and intimate with the audience. But here at R & Company, I could really feel the energy of the people walking in and feel the warmth and respect they gave me as a dancer in a form that might have been completely unknown to them. This experience was something to learn from and remember for life.