#Calltogenfest Special: The experience of the Dancelab Armonia Association
The experience of the Dancelab Armonia Association, with the dancers that we will see on May 1 on the stage of the Italian Genfest #Beyondme.
The Dancelab Armonia Association was born more than 10 years ago from a dream. Antonella Lombardo, the director of a dance school in Montecatini Terme, Italy, wanted boys and girls from all over the world to dance together on the same stage and share the pure art of dance. This is how the adventure of Dancelab came about. From a dream, putting our talents to fruition.
In 2006, the first high dance training camp was held in Montecatini Terme, with the participation of young people from various parts of Europe, some African countries, and conflict areas, in particular from Israel and Palestine. We have experienced that dance can be a transversal instrument of harmony among peoples.
Dance, like all the arts, allows us to rise beyond our daily reality and to overcome the differences in religion, culture, and ethnicity.
When we are on a stage, or in the dance hall, hearing the same music and performing the same movements, we do not perceive the different nationality, but we perceive that we are together with a group of people who share the same passion and move all in unison to the rhythm of music. Everyone is different and unique, everyone expresses their identity and shares it with the identity of others.
The dance camps are two-week summer events of high perfection in dance concluded by a final show. The participants take lessons in different dance styles and live together every day: not just during the classes but also for the meals and in the rest of the day. So, real friendships are created based on a common passion.
In 2014, for the first time a camp took place in Palestine, with children from refugee camps and the territories of Bethlehem. In Palestine there is no opportunity to study dance in a real school with professional teachers, so the goal of the Association was to bring their own discipline and learn traditional dances. The message of harmony was even stronger in a conflict area like the Middle East.
The dance camp in Palestine has been held for three summers in a row since 2012 and this year another one is planned. With the young participants, strong ties are built; some have grown up with us, and year after year they give us strong and pure emotions.
We felt the need to share this message of harmony through art with the community of our city. This is why the Armonia fra i Popoli (Harmony among peoples) Festival was born. Every year in September art and music evenings take place in the province of Pistoia, and not only, to raise awareness on the subject.
The conclusion of our initiatives is carried out every year on October 4, the Gift Day, with a Peace March involving all local schools. We are an association of young people, so we want to share our project as a first thing with the students for them to be active and mindful citizens.
These experiences have made us live on our skin that art is an instrument of peace, art really goes beyond any barrier, it breaks down the walls, even real ones (see the Palestinian-Israel border), it simply builds bridges starting from music and movement. And once the bridge has been built, many people can cross it together.