What Dance Can Do Project

When you dance, you can enjoy the luxury of being yourself – Paulo Coelho

Bring dance to vulnerable children and young adult. That is the mission of this amazing project. I was lucky to get an interview with the founder and president Aurélia Sellier last year – see below. Now I would like to give an update of the latest projects.

© Laura Gilli

Visit from Etoile dancers at Necker’s hospital

Sae Eun Park and Paul Marque, Étoile Dancers from Paris Opera Ballet, spent a wonderful afternoon with the children at Necker’s hospital in Paris.

For the first time since Covid, we were able to share the joy of dance  with children, parents and the hospital’s staff,  in the hospital’s auditorium. After their performance, Paul and Sae Eun spent some time with the children who enjoyed discovering their world as ballet dancers.

 We are sincerely grateful to Paul and Sae Eun for their commitment, and to the team at Necker’s who have helped in  bringing those precious moments to life.

© Laura Gilli

New partnership in Alsace (France)

Working towards our goal to extend  our presence in hospitals, both in France and abroad, we will be, from June, organising regular visits to the children at the GHR hospitals of Mulhouse and South Alsace region (East of France). This has been made possible by   our recent partnership with the CCN Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin (OnR Ballet)

We are thankful to Frédérique Lombart, the associate stage director of the OnR Ballet  who will organise the  sessions at the hospitals.. OnR Ballet dancers will visit the children in their wards, and organise short performances at the hospital twice a month. 

We are grateful to all people involved in this new partnership particularly,  Bruno Bouché, director of the OnR Ballet and Pasquale Nocera, who is in charge of outreach and development. We are looking forward to setting up our first visit.

© Laura Gilli

New dance sessions in Morocco 

Our dance sessions in Morocco have restarted in late April with  the children of Atlas Kinder.  . Our volunteers for the programme were dancers Manon Dubourdeaux and Sally Cowdin.

Manon and Sally facilitated dance sessions over a period of 10 days, interrupted by the two days they spent in Rabat, teaching ballet to the students of Shems’y, Ecole Nationale du Cirque. 

“We shared very precious moments with the children. My goal was to give them an opportunity to create” said Manon. “They will remain in my heart all my life. I will continue to draw strength and energy from their looks, their smiles and  their words. I hope to continue to give back to these children what they have given to me and share what life has given to me.”

Manon trained at the National Superior School of Ballet in Marseille and at the National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris.  

Merci to Manon and Sally for their professionalism and great humility. They have been a joy to work with and we are glad they have joined our team of volunteers! Thank you Atlas Kinder and merci to our new team member in Morocco: Aïda Ben Barka. 

Manon and Sally’s accommodation in Marrakech was sponsored by the Opera Plaza Hotel : merci à eux!

We were  humbled  by the feature in a segment on  the Evening News on  Moroccan TV channel, 2M TV. A  replay is available on our Youtube channel.

Ouadih Dada welcomed Aïda  who spoke about our partnership with Atlas Kinder and a new collaboration with Shems’y, a wonderful Rabat-based non profit   that offers the opportunity for circus artist training to youth.

Young dancers put on a second show

On Friday April 8th, the choreographer and WDCD team member,  Rodolphe Fouillot, and his group of young students put on their second show at the Conservatoire de Gennevilliers . 

The show marked the end of a WDCD programme sponsored by the Francis Kurkdjian Dotation Fund. The 25 dance sessions took place over the last few months and the participants included a mix of local and recently arrived youths, including two of Rodolphe’s students, Mathis and Roman.

Building on their first show produced in December, the dancers worked on the idea of traveling through the Mediterranean sea. Every carefully chose detail represented items which held significance to them, such as the colour of the blankets, which reminded them of their arrival to Spain. Accompanied by Mozart, Donizetti and Disiz, they expressed their relationship to freedom in dance, reflecting the strong emotions they had experienced during their journey, and their arrival to France.

All the young dancers were delighted to have participated in this choreography and received a warm welcome, and applause from the audience. 

We thank Rodolphe for his commitment to the young dancers, the Conservatoire de Gennevilliers for their kind hospitality, the Francis Kurkdjian Dotation Fund , and  the support team, Marie and Yasmin. We are also thankful to  each of the dancers for their hard work and trust.

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© Vincent Boiso

Interview with Aurélia Sellier

Autor: ballettlovers

I danced ballet as child, albeit with little success. Despite this, my passion for ballet and dance has carried into adulthood. I still love to watch ballet performances and would love to share my passion with you.

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