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Washington, DC Dances the Dream

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
District Dance Artists to Join International Celebration of the Landmark 50th Anniversary of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, THE [email protected], the 50th Anniversary Commission for the District of Columbia, and the 50th Anniversary Freedom Festival present Dance the Dream DC, an international dance program to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream Speech.” The District performance will be Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 4 PM at the West Potomac Park on the National Mall.  The District performance is one of 17 around the world that will be streamed on LED billboards in New York City’s Times Square and Los Angeles’s Nokia Plaza.

District residents and visitors are invited to join the event for a “pop-up” audience participation dance performance. The performance will feature District dance artists, including DC Youth Ensemble, Savoy Players (Savoy ES) A President's Committee on the Arts Turnaround Arts Initiative School, Northeast Performing Arts Group, Beat Your Feet Kings, National Hand Dance Association, Holloway Project and more.

“Art connects us. Reinterpreting the ‘I Have a Dream speech’ through dance offers a new view of the landmark speech. Dance the Dream DC spotlights art on an international stage,” says Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities and Member of the 50th Anniversary Commission for the District of Columbia.

“The District will be celebrating the historic anniversary of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech though dance. Residents and visitors are invited to participate in the ‘pop-up’ part of the performance. Our goal is to get everyone involved in this historic moment,” says Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities.

From August 24-28, the world will be celebrating the landmark 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in cooperation with THE [email protected] Seventeen locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Northern Territory Australia, Shanghai, Singapore, Amman, Beirut, Prague, Dublin, and Mumbai will be hosting music and dance tributes, Dance the Dream, that will be streamed on multiple LED billboards in New York City’s Times Square and Los Angeles’s Nokia Plaza and on THE [email protected] YouTube Channel on August 28.

Top dance artists from around the world, including dancers from the English National Ballet, will be performing original choreography to two musical selections, an original multilingual arrangement of “Heaven Help Us All” featuring the South African Youth Choir and the Jerusalem Youth Chorus, and a musical selection of the local choreographer’s choosing. In addition, Nas and Damian Marley, Usher, Common, the top-selling rock band Skillet, YouTube’s Number One R&B group Ahmir, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Joan Armatrading, Pakistan’s Beygairat Brigade, and the Afghan Youth Orchestra have dedicated songs that have been videotaped exclusively for inclusion in the worldwide THE [email protected] celebrations.

According to Charlene Lim, Director for Partnerships of ITI, an NGO founded by UNESCO in 1948 to promote peace and mutual understanding through the performing arts and a co-producer of Dance the Dream with Richard Karz, “Dance the Dream brings together people from all walks of life across the globe to champion global solidarity through dance, one of the most powerful yet underrated art forms. This project reminds us that the fight against discrimination is an ongoing battle, and one that we can carry on creatively, through non-violent measures. It is, in essence, a ‘dream’ project that illustrates what ITI stands for.”

The mission of THE [email protected] is to celebrate the creative dynamism of cultural diversity, to build stronger communities based on mutual understanding and respect, and to inspire everyone everywhere to follow in the foot steps of Martin Luther King, Jr. and change the world.

About THE [email protected]

THE [email protected] is a tribute series produced by Richard Karz in partnership with the United Nations (Academic Impact, DPI), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), YouTube, International Theatre Institute, U.S. Mission to UNESCO, The King Center, Global Arts Link, Americans for the Arts, Dance/USA, National Dance Education Organization, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), National Education Association, National Art Education Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, Arts Schools Network, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United Way, Dance Camera West, Dance Films Association, Potters Fields, L.A. Live, and the Times Square Alliance.

Contact: [email protected]