Today’s news:

Dancing for peace & harmony

Thirty young people from National Dance Institute (NDI) performed on September 11, 2008 at the plaza at Rockefeller Center as part of The September Concert.

The performance, hosted by Tishman Speyer, featured dancers, ages eight to 15, as part of the seventh annual celebration of peace and shared humanity. The creative force behind this day of music is Haruko Smith, who saw an opportunity to transform the pain and anguish of September 11, 2001, into a day of music to celebrate universal humanity.

Smith was on hand to introduce the dancers who performed favorites from NDI’s repertory, including “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In” and “Appalachian Clog.” The dancers also premiered a new work entitled, “Let it Be,” choreographed by Bianca Johnson, and performed by a young NDI singer, in tribute to the theme song for the 2008 September Concert.

During a break in the performance, NDI Teaching Artist Mary Kennedy led the dancers, as well as members of the audience, in an energetic dance class demonstrating NDI’s unique teaching methodology.

The September Concert Foundation, which began as a grassroots effort in New York City on September 11, 2002, has since grown into an event of global proportion. In 2007, the September Concert Foundation organized more than 200 concerts with more than 3,400 performers. In addition to 119 concerts held in New York, 42 US cities hosted concerts, as did 39 international cities, such as Rome, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Johannesburg and Casablanca.

NDI was founded in 1976 by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise, and since 1995 has been under the artistic leadership of Ellen Weinstein. For more, go to www.nationaldance.org.

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