Two dance artists from DanceAbility International, an organization that seeks to bring people with and without disabilities together through dance, will be in Manila to conduct a workshop on the DanceAbility method May 14 to 18 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)’s Bulwagang Amado Hernandez.

DanceAbility International
Alito Alessi, artistic dDirector and founder of DanceAbility International, and Karen Daly, a DanceAbility teacher, cancer survivor, and wheelchair-user, will be interacting with Filipino dancers, artists and teachers, both with and without disabilities.

Alessi and Daly are Arts Envoys of the US State Department and as such are travelling through Indonesia, Mongolia and the Philippines to share the DanceAbility methods to groups that integrate people with and without disabilities. DanceAbility International is based in Eugene, Oregon, United States.

The Arts Envoy Program is very selective and prestigious. As stated on their website, the mission of the program is to “share the best of the U.S. arts community with the world and foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.”

Alessi and Daly feel honored to have been chosen to represent the United States in sharing the cutting edge of dance and the celebration of diversity. They are the first participants in the Arts Envoy program to hail from a “mixed-abilities” dance company (integrating dancers with and without disabilities.) They will be teaching various dance workshops, organized by the U.S. Embassy. Some of the workshops will be professional teacher trainings, so that local dance educators will be equipped with the skills needed to lead groups that integrate both people with and without disabilities.

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In Manila, a one-day workshop will be held for students/young artists on May 14 while a four-day orientation for teachers/choreographers/dancers will be held May 15-18 at the CCP. To achieve a wider reach and impact, the US Embassy Manila Public Affairs Department and the CCP, through its Cultural Exchange Department, are bringing in selected regional participants from various local organizations and communities to participate in the 5-day workshop-orientation.

In addition to the opportunity of sharing DanceAbility with new audiences, Alessi and Daly are also looking forward to promoting cross-cultural artistic collaboration. “The DanceAbility method has arisen from people on several continents,” said Alessi. “I’m excited to both take this information to three new countries and add more wisdom of more cultures to the DanceAbility method.”

DanceAbility International is a nonprofit organization based in Eugene, Oregon. It celebrates the beauty of diversity, by bringing people together, with and without disabilities, through dance. It conducts performances, educational programs, teacher trainings and workshops, worldwide. In its 25 years of activity, it has reached more than a million people in 37 countries. Over 400 people in 25 countries are Certified DanceAbility Teachers. Alessi is a Guggenheim Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, and Fulbright Senior Fellow.

For more information, please call the CCP Cultural Exchange Department at (+632) 8321125 locals 1708 to 1709.