Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 29, 2009


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), in partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), today announced the launch of DanceMotion USAsm, a unique initiative to share America’s rich dance culture and values with international audiences. The program—designed and funded by ECA and produced by BAM with educational support by Pfizer—will send three companies on respective performance and cultural exchange tours beginning in January 2010.

Speaking to assembled journalists, foreign diplomats, and dance company representatives at the Department’s New York Foreign Press Center, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Professional and Cultural Exchanges Alina L. Romanowski emphasized the importance of cultural diplomacy and announced the three dance companies selected to inaugurate DanceMotion USAsm with tours to nine countries:

1. Evidence, A Dance Company; based in Brooklyn, New York, will tour in South Africa, Nigeria, and Senegal;
2. ODC/Dance, based in San Francisco, California, will tour to in Thailand, Burma, Indonesia; and
3. Urban Bush Women, also Brooklyn-based, will tour in Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia.

Joining the Deputy Assistant Secretary in making remarks were BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins and BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo.

Members of the three dance companies will perform and participate in other outreach including workshops, master classes, media interviews, and discussions with foreign artists and local audiences, all which serve to deepen U.S. dialogue and engagement with foreign audiences.

DanceMotion USAsm is modeled on the Department of State’s very successful music-based exchange program, The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad — administered by Jazz at Lincoln Center — which shares American roots music around the world.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people around the world through a range of international exchanges and activities. ECA cultural exchange programs further U.S. foreign policy, highlight America's artistic excellence, and foster mutual understanding and respect for other cultures and traditions, by sharing the rich artistic traditions of the United States with foreign audiences. Please visit http://exchanges.state.gov/cultural/index.html.

Contact: Catherine Stearns, ECA, on 202-203-5107 or at StearnsCL@state.gov



PRN: 2009/395