DanceMotion USA℠ (DMUSA), a program of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administered by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), ran from 2010 to 2018. One of the only programs of its kind for contemporary American dance, DanceMotion USA℠ facilitated cultural exchange across continents and between countries through performance, education, and artistic collaboration.
US-based dance companies choosen for the program by a panel of dance experts, as well as representatives from the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and BAM, traveled for residencies abroad, where they provided workshops, hosted outreach events, led and took master classes with local dancers, collaborated with artists, and offered free public performances and artist discussions. To facilitate these interactions and exchanges, BAM worked with US embassies in 56 countries to establish partnerships with leading cultural, social service, and community organizations and educational institutions.
Building and expanding on BAM’s existing educational approaches, DanceMotion USA℠ companies created workshops, master classes, demonstrations, and artist talks tailored to each country in which they worked. This kind of in-depth exchange also extended beyond performance practice and pedagogy to the technical directors and practitioners traveling with each company, who worked with local artists at roundtable discussions and training workshops throughout each residency. Thus, DanceMotion USA℠ cultivated a global network of colleagues in all aspects of creating, producing, and presenting contemporary dance.
This network continues to thrive and expand, years after initial contacts were made. Through active social and digital media engagement, online educational resources made available to every country, and embassy and consulate libraries specific to dance performance and presenting, the efforts of DanceMotion USA℠ and its participating companies continue to foster international dialogue and interaction around contemporary dance practice.
We want to credit the individual staff members who have contributed to the seven seasons of DanceMotion USA℠ programming. Special thanks to:
Leigh Beaulieu, Alice Bernstein, R. Michael Blanco, Lisa Booth, Karen Brooks Hopkins, Tanya Calamoneri, Katy Clark, Jason Collins, Mariama Diallo, Jacquelyn Folville, Jenny Goelz, Paige Haroldson, Sarah Horne, Patreece Jackman, Petra Laohakul, Ashanti Lyking, Deanna Martinez, Joseph V. Melillo, Kirsten Munro, Meghan Rose Murphy, Arzoo Riaz, Sophie Shackleton, Lindsey Siders, Margot Sturc, Deirdre Valente, and Ash R.T. Yergens.
ECA exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in many fields in the US and more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current or former heads of state and government.
We thank our supporters:
Since 2010, the DanceMotion USA℠ program has facilitated nearly 900 outreach activities, reaching just over 40,000 in-country participants. An integral part of this work has been connecting and moving with those who may not always have access to dance, working with diverse communities, and promoting the empowerment of women, people with disabilities, and at-risk youth.
In 2015, in connection with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and building on DanceMotion USA℠’s tradition of engaging with disabled groups, programming further emphasized outreach to people with disabilities and promoted disability awareness abroad.
Examples of successful programming include workshops for children at orphanages, youth centers, and detention facilities in the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa and Central Asia; master classes for students with mental and physical disabilities in Africa, Europe, South America, and Central and Southeast Asia; classes with female victims of gender-based violence in Timor-Leste and Thailand; workshops for children from local orphanages in South America, Europe, and Central Asia; and movement and music exploration with visually impaired and deaf participants in Europe and Southeast Asia.
DanceMotion USA℠ prepared the American dance companies with assigned research and specific training courses that were facilitated by well-known experts to learn effective teaching methods in order to present innovative workshops that focused on empowering people with disabilities through dance and movement exchange.
DanceMotion USASM was a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, administered by BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) to facilitate cultural exchange while showcasing the best in contemporary American dance abroad.
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