On Friday, October 18 at American University, the Public & Cultural Diplomacy Forum will be hosting a performance from First Step Iraq, a group of dancers and rappers from Baghdad, Basra, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, as part of their “Hiplomacy” tour this Fall. The Iraqi artists will present a show that reflects their daily struggle to practice their craft and showcase their talent in the often hostile environment of their home country. The performance will be followed by a Q+A session on this innovative cultural diplomacy program.

August 2, 2013

Two varied art forms staged recently at Greenix Village, a heritage art centre in Fort Kochi, as part of the inauguration of a hospitality service, left the audience spellbound. Ottamthullal presented by National Hartmut Schmidt, a German, and Tanoura, an Egyptian dance, presented by the internationally renowned artiste Hussein Muhammed, was an exotic treat. It was a perfect melange of cross-cultural exchange.

Despite soggy conditions, including a brief downpour, more than 100 people still showed up for the St. Petersburg, Russia-based youth ensemble, Golden Gates at Poinciana United Methodist Church last Thursday. By imitating dancers, sampling instruments or copying the rhythmic clapping and foot stomping of Russian dance, the audience got a taste of faraway culture when the youth ensemble performed a 90-minute show providing an entertaining and authentic glimpse into Old Russia.

A group of teens in Yemen’s capital taught themselves how to perform various styles of ‘street dance’ through videos they downloaded off the internet. Having no formal training or a place to rehearse, the group dances in various open spaces around Sanaa. The teens refer to their group as ‘Da TNT Crew’. Founded two years ago, the crew now has 13 members between the ages of 12 and 21. Ali al-Slami, one of the group’s founders said their goal was to blend modern and break dancing with traditional Yemeni culture.

In a much anticipated performance, The Spectrum Dance Theatre will be performing in Sri Lanka this week. ‘An Evening of Excerpts from Repertory by Donald Byrd’ is presented by the American Centre in Colombo together with Dance Motion USA and will include a selection of five among the company’s most impressive dance creations. “The pieces provide a broad overview of one aspect of the Donald Byrd/ Spectrum Dance theatre aesthetic, its physicality,” the group’s Artistic Director, Donald Byrd, told the Sunday Times in an email ahead of the performance.

Neaplis from diverse backgrounds will be benefitting from the Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater which is scheduled to launch the worldwide Dance Motion USA cultural exchange program in Nepal as an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of State in Nepal.

One Beijing international primary school hosted an event on Saturday in order to enhance the cultural understanding and exchange between Uzbek and Chinese youngsters. This friendly exchange meeting, as the school called it, was held in Fangcaodi International School's affiliate Shiji Primary School in Beijing, under the theme of "Paint a flower of friendship, sing a song of peace."