Boston Dance Theater with Yoni Battat

Data-based evidence shows that racism is not a new threat to anyone in the BIPOC community, and that the state of anti-semitism in the US is cause for concern. Artists have a level of responsibility to assure that their art-making is socially relevant, and this has become ever-more critical in the world that has emerged since 2016. Jessie Jeanne Stinnett has consistently made curatorial choices which amplify the voices of BIPOC artists. Her work brings awareness to issues such as climate change, environmental and racial justice, and women’s rights. With support from Combined Jewish Philanthropies and in partnership with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservation, Stinnett teams up with Yoni Battat and the BIPOC dance artists of Boston Dance Theater (BDT) to create a new work of dance and music that celebrates multiculturalism and resilience. Incorporating both historical and contemporary ideologies, the work will celebrate our artistic cohort’s multicultural heritage and community in anticipation of the emergence of a more interconnected and conscientious society. This artistic process is an opportunity to reflect on what 2020/21 has taught us about hope as we emerge from a global pandemic having witnessed many acts of violence, especially toward our BIPOC families and neighbors.

Yoni Battat (Project composer, musician) is a classically trained violist, with a Bachelor’s from Brandeis University and Master’s from Boston University. Since completing his degrees, he has appeared with several orchestras and chamber ensembles, such as the New Haven Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, Juventas Ensemble, and ALEA III. Yoni is also the core violist of VSNY, a mixed chamber group that performs new works alongside celebrated masterpieces. Attracting a diverse audience base, VSNY has received high praise for their casual and accessible concert environment, and their exciting programming. The group has toured extensively in Italy and Portugal, premiering new works by Italian, Portuguese, and American composers. Yoni has helped the ensemble develop and execute a series of highly successful educational programs in Massachusetts schools and at the Bendada Music Festival in Portugal. In 2018, VSNY released “Catalogus Galilei,” a complete album of music by Italian Composer Mario Pagotto, issued on Italian label MEP for international distribution.

Jessie Jeanne Stinnett (Project choreographer) received a BFA in Dance Performance from The Boston Conservatory and an MFA in Creative Practice: Dance Professional Pathway from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, in conjunction with Independent Dance/Siobhan Davies Dance. Most notably Jessie has performed for the Metropolitan Opera, Tate Britain (UK), Prometheus Dance, Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna), The Boston Baroque Opera, and Bard College’s SummerScape Festival. Her choreographic work has been described by Hannah Chanatry of WBUR as “conceptually driven performance that unpacks the complexities of being female, and pushes the academic boundaries of choreography” and has been sustained in part by grants from The Boston Foundation with support from The Barr Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Goethe-Institut Boston, New England Foundation for the Arts, Assets4Artists at MASS MoCA, and Fidelity Charitable.

Company bio: Under the co-artistic direction of Jessie Jeanne Stinnett and award winning, Dutch-Israeli, choreographer Itzik Galili, Boston Dance Theater (BDT) is Boston’s first contemporary dance repertory company with international ties at the leadership level. With a commitment to presenting works of socio-political relevance, BDT matches the talents of Boston-based dancers with those of acclaimed global choreographers, broadening the scope of contemporary dance practice and performance in our city. BDT is a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt charity as of 2019. Dancer bios available here.