The Battery Dance Company performed at Jordan University this morning as a part of a series of performances in Jordan this week. Of course, my friends and I had to attend, and what can I say, it was stunning!

The dancers performed solos in a project fittingly entitled “The Solo Project”, where each dancer uniquely expressed a specific emotional tone and culture. According to founder and choreographer Jonathan Hollander, the aim of the Middle East performances is to open a dialogue with students and audiences in which “cultural similarities can be discovered and differences respected.”

The dancers that performed were John Byrne, Solomon Matea, Stevan Novakovich, Jane Sato, Sean Scantlebury, and Lydia Tetzlaff. All of their performances were stunning, but I must say that my favorite performance was that of Stevan Novakovich(wearing purple in left picture) whose solo was a very interesting modern dance to music from his native Yugoslavia.

After the show, we had a little discussion with the choreographer and the dancer, and several issues were discussed, including the possibility of performing dances to Middle Eastern music and technique-related bits regarding theatre spaces and training.

Then finally, right before the company packed up to get ready to perform at the Arena Hall tonight, they tried to teach us Funun students(Fatuta pictured) a few dance steps.

Yeah, as you can see, there wasn’t much hope for him or anyone else for the matter. Fatuta, keep your day job my friend.

What really disappointed me though was that only a few dozen students showed up to a free show when the university has around 32000 registered students, and most of few dozen consisted of Funun. Such performances are surely unmissable, and I find the local lack of interest in the fine arts very disturbing. As Marx said, art evolves dialectically with society, and the fact that our society not only fails to produce art but also fails to appreciate it is really very sad. Cheers to Jordan University and Amman Municipality for trying to improve the public’s awareness.

WAKE UP JORDAN!