SHANGHAI, China - July 2, 2010 - In another demonstration of the real-time collaborative nature of telepresence technology, young dancers in Shanghai and New York prepared for a National Dance Institute production over Cisco TelePresenceTM. The production of "The Red Thread," choreographed by Dou Dou Huang, the highly esteemed dancer and choreographer from Zhejiang province in China, and Ellen Weinstein, the NDI's artistic director, will be performed in New York and Connecticut during July with dancers from both NDI and Shanghai Children's Palace.
Cisco TelePresence technology enabled the dancers to start preparations for the production before they meet face-to-face. The dancers from Shanghai Children's Palace and the choreography team called from the Cisco TelePresence suite in the Cisco® Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai while NDI dancers, together with Jacques d'Amboise, the legendary dancer and founder of NDI, were in the Cisco TelePresence suite in Cisco's office in New York.
"Just as National Dance Institute uses dance to bridge together diverse cultures, so Cisco is using technology to bridge time, geographic and cultural distances. With technologies like Cisco TelePresence, we are elevating creativity and collaboration to the next level, changing the way people communicate and learn," said Anthony Elvey, Pavilion Director, Cisco. "That is precisely the theme of the Cisco Pavilion at World Expo: how technology can enhance your life. One day, people will be using high-definition video to communicate as easily as they do with the telephone today. This is Cisco's vision of the smart connected life."
"Both the arts and technology open people's hearts and minds to limitless possibilities," d'Amboise said. "Dance is basically a form of expression. The way we move and the timing of the movement are how we express ourselves, and Cisco TelePresence can help ensure that none of this expression is lost. With Cisco's help, these dancers are able to transcend physical distance to be simultaneously moved by the same beautiful piece of music and elegant movements."
For d'Amboise and the dancers in New York, this virtual dance rehearsal marked the first time they had seen "The Red Thread" being performed. Huang has been recognized both in China and internationally, receiving the title of First Class National Artist and the acclaim of critics around the world. Weinstein, who began her impressive tenure with NDI in 1985, is also an accomplished teacher, choreographer and director whose work has been performed from Carnegie Hall to the White House, where her piece "Wade in the Water" was featured at a state dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton. Now, Huang turns an eye toward teaching and has joined with Weinstein, NDI and Shanghai Children's Palace to take part in this project to encourage the collaboration between dancers in Shanghai and New York.
Starting in July, the Shanghai dancers will participate in NDI's Irene Diamond Summer Institute. The dancers and choreographers from Shanghai will also teach elements of Chinese folk dancing to NDI students in New York. In the last weeks of July, the collaboration of the Shanghai and New York dancers will culminate in a series of performances of the pieces they have learned together.
About National Dance Institute
National Dance Institute is a not-for-profit organization founded in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children and motivate them towards excellence. Using professional artists and a distinctive combination of dance classes and performances integrated with music, literature and the visual arts, children learn how to work together to reach for their personal best. Over 2 million children have participated in NDI programs. NDI was founded in 1976 by world-renowned New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d'Amboise, and since 1995 has been under the artistic leadership of Ellen Weinstein. For more information, please log on to www.nationaldance.org.