NEWARK, N.J. (February 14, 2020) — Voices of Change, an inspiring production featuring original choreography and live music, will be performed by the talented child dancers of the National Dance Institute’s Celebration Team on the organization’s third visit to NJPAC on Sunday, March 8. The event takes place at 4 pm in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.
Children in the audience — of all ages and all levels of dance abilities — are invited to participate in a free, pre-performance workshop with NDI teaching artists at 3:30 p.m. before taking their seats. This brief high-energy dance class, which introduces children to NDI choreography, is accompanied by live music.
Through movement, music and words, Voices of Change celebrates the power of activists— particularly young activists — to have a meaningful impact in creating a more just and kind world.
Works in the program are inspired by Malala Yousafazi, the Pakistani teen who fought for the right of girls in her country to attend school, as well as by the participants in the 1963 Children’s Crusade for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama, and by the newsboys’ strike of 1899 (dramatized in the musical Newsies) which led to changes in child labor laws.
Other pieces salute the life and work of Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman and Maya Angelou. Original music blends with beloved pop anthems from Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” to the disco hit “Turn the Beat Around” and John Lennon’s paean to unity, “Imagine.”
All the pieces will be performed by the promising young dancers of NDI’s Celebration Team, ranging in age from 9 to 15, who are selected from schools throughout the New York metropolitan area.
Founded by ballet superstar Jacques d’Amboise, NDI uses dance and music to instill in students a love of the arts, a passion for learning, and a desire to strive for their personal best. Over the last four decades, this acclaimed organization has transformed the lives of more than 2 million children through its award-winning arts and learning programs and high-energy public performances. This year, nearly 7,000 New York City public school children will take part in NDI’s programs.
The partnership between NJPAC and NDI was inaugurated by Judy Weston, a longtime supporter of both organizations.
“We in New Jersey are so lucky that National Dance Institute will perform at NJPAC for the third year in a row!” says Weston. “I hope many families and dance fans will join us to share in the joy, energy and inspiration of NDI’s students.”
“These young dancers are not only remarkably talented, but they also have so much heart,” says NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber. “Using their spotlight to honor those who have championed social justice in so many ways shows a surprisingly adult grasp of the power of the performing arts to inspire.”
“NDI is thrilled to be collaborating with NJPAC again. Dance is transcendent and unique in its ability to communicate and unify beyond words. At NDI, we believe that dance can change the world,” says Ellen Weinstein, NDI’s Artistic Director.
Tickets are $5* and may be purchased through njpac.org, 1.888.GO.NJPAC (466.5722) or the NJPAC box office at 1 Center St., Newark, N.J.
*Subject to a per-ticket handling fee.
About National Dance Institute
NDI was founded in 1976 by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise, and leads the field of arts education with a model program that is replicated worldwide. Under the Artistic Direction of Ellen Weinstein, NDI uses dance and music to instill in students a love of the arts, a passion for learning, and a desire to strive for their personal best. At the root of NDI’s methodology is the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage all children – regardless of background, ability or socio-economic status – and motivate them toward excellence. In addition to programming in New York City, NDI has 13 associate programs in the United States, and one in Shanghai, China. In 2011, NDI opened the doors to the National Dance Institute Center for Learning & the Arts in Harlem, allowing the organization to further its mission and expand its reach. Since its founding, NDI has impacted the lives of over 2 million children. No child pays a penny to participate in NDI’s core programs thanks to the generosity of public and private donations.