Established by Battery Dance in 1982 as the Downtown Dance Festival, today the Battery Dance Festival (BDF) is New York City's longest-running free public dance festival. Audiences are traditionally drawn from the large downtown working population and residents, families, tourists, senior citizens and dance fans from the greater NYC metropolitan area. Each year, the Festival attracts a combined audience of over 12,000 people.
The Battery Dance Festival provides a unique opportunity for both established and emerging dance companies to present original works of high artistic merit in a free public forum. BDF revels in the panoply of dance that our city offers, with strong emphasis on the inclusion of diverse dance styles and an international roster of performers. American choreographers such as Michelle Dorrance, Robert Battle and Elisa Monte have all presented their works alongside pre-eminent companies from Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and the Caribbean.