Thank you for coming to this very special Bot50 celebration event. We are proud of the 50-year relationship between the United States and Botswana, and look forward to the next 50 years and beyond. What better way to celebrate this relationship than through the universal language and joy of dance!
Through our Arts Envoy Program the U.S. Embassy brings American artists to Botswana on cultural exchanges to teach and learn from Batswana artists, foster cross-cultural understanding, highlight our shared values and aspirations.
Tonight, I am delighted to present Dancing to Connect, an award winning arts education program of the American dance company, Battery Dance Theatre Group from New York City. Battery Dance is committed to enhancing the cultural vibrancy of its home community in New York City, and to extending programming worldwide to help build bridges through international cultural exchange. Founded in 1976, Battery Dance has worked in over 60 countries creating vibrant new choreography, and bringing communities together through dance workshops and performances.
Dancing to Connect has been implemented in over 45 countries worldwide and has served as a means towards resolving conflict, rehabilitating victims of human trafficking and gender violence, opposing xenophobia and prejudice, combatting perceptions towards the mentally and physically handicapped and HIV/AIDS, and bridging social and class divides. In Botswana’s Dancing to Connect program Battery Dance teaching artists worked intensively with 100 youth and professionals in collaboration with local partner, Mophato Dance Theater. This week each of the five workshops met for 20 hours to create their own choreography based on their personal experiences and visions, unlocking their individual and collective creativity. Tonight’s performance marks the culmination of this collaborative effort.
Thank you again for coming. Enjoy!
Kealeboga ba haetsho! Pula!