When classical dancer and artistic director of Ballet Metropolitano de Buenos Aires, Leonardo Reale, conceived "Dance for Peace" ("Danzar por Paz"), he had a vision that it would be performed beyond his home country of Argentina, where it has been presented since 2014. In the past eight years, the production has grown and spread to Chile and Puerto Rico.
For the first time in the United States, Reale's "Dance for Peace" comes to Miami. On Saturday, Feb. 23 at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, twelve Florida dance companies will unite for "Dance for Peace."
Proceeds from the performance will benefit UNICEF, The United Nations International Children’s Fund. According to UNICEF's statement, the organization works in 190 countries and territories to "save children's lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence."
"From last year I began to dream, to take the event to other countries, starting with Santiago de Chile, where it had a great reception from the public," Reale says. "With the support of UNICEF USA, we began to call local companies from which we received their full support, reaching a total of 100 dancers from eight companies and four dance schools. These 100 dancers will give all of their efforts towards the strengthening of peace, nonviolence and for the benefit of the children of UNICEF USA."
Carlos Guerra, co-artistic director with Jennifer Kronenburg of Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami, and former principal dancer with Miami City Ballet, is serving as the Associate General Manager for the "Dance for Peace" performance in Miami. He first met Reale in Chili in 1995 and worked with him in 2017 on the "Danzar por Paz" in Argentina in 2017.
Guerra says, "Miami has become such an important and visible arts and entertainment mecca. This is the first time, at least during the 18 years I have been living here, that dance companies and schools from within the city and across Florida are gathering to join forces for a common purpose. All will be donating their services; performing in support of peace and non-violence and for a charitable cause."
From its debut to today, a total of 800 dancers and 76 companies from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the United States, Mexico and Cuba have participated in the "Dance for Peace" mission.
"For me, it so meaningful to bring an event conceived by my good friend Leonardo Reale here to the U.S. for the first time," Guerra continues. "And, to be able to use my own influence as a long time resident and dance professional here in the city toward a greater good is very significant. It is wonderful to think that we are introducing something new to Miami - an event that has had tremendous success in South America, and has the future potential to extend well beyond Florida. We have been encountering an incredible amount of support from within the community. That in and of itself is validation that we are doing something very important here."
The diverse and multi-genre line-up includes: Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, Dance Now! Miami, Miami City Ballet School, Brigid Baker Wholeproject, Mandelstam Dance, Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Ballet Vero Beach, Dance Town, Miami Youth Ballet, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Gabriel Mores and Elizabeth Guerrero of OK Mr. Tango.
"Dance for Peace" performances is 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium at 2901 W. Flagler St, Miami 33135. For tickets, https://www1.ticketmaster.com/dance-for-peace/event/0D00563692D688F6 or purchase at the box office.
General admission: $35; $20 seniors and students $20. Info at: https://www.miamidadecountyauditorium.org/