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Thursday, August 7, 2014
The story of the project, “Harmony among Peoples”, that the Tuscany Cultural Association's DanceLab Harmony has been taking ahead since 2006. It was held for the first time this year in the Holy Land.

Campus 2014_08_betlemme_1Choreographies of hip hop, jazz, contemporary dance and aerial dancing using strips of cloth: all these were part of the program presented on July 14 entitled  “The eyes of those who believe in us”. There were two hundred spectators, in a venue that was truly special: Bethlehem.

It was the realization of a dream: to bring the Harmony Project’s message of peace in Palestine, a land where it seems impossible even just to stay together to get to know each other.

In March the Custodian of the Holy Land, Fr Ibrahim Faltas OFM, invited the association DanceLab Harmony to hold their Campus 2014 precisely there. And so, housed as guests at the John Paul II Foundation of Bethlehem and in collaboration with the Association “Children Without Borders”, ballet dancers and teachers, from July 1 to 16, held a Campus of dance and figurative  with Palestinian children and teens. An event with an extraordinary flavour of of of great emotional intensity, which they hope could become an annual event.

The mayor of Bethlehem, Vera Baboun, satisfied with the initiative, thanked Fr Ibrahim Faltas and the directress of  DanceLab Harmony Antonella Lombardo for «this great idea that brings hope and happiness to the children in these difficult days of war».

In the internatinal campus of high-level dance instruction (the association DanceLab Harmony  has 5 active projects) teens of different countries are involved, and they discover together how art can help to break down the barriers of culture and of religion: the teens work together rediscovering the same dreams and the same needs, thus creating at atmosphere of true fraternity.

Campus 2014_08_betlemme_2This year the focus of the project was the 5th Art Campus that involved fifty Palestinian children and teens from 5 to 16 years old, Muslim and Christian who, through the study of dance and painting, they were able to live moments of peace and harmony.

Campus 2014_08_betlemme_3At the end of the program, there were many parents who came to express their gratitude: “It was a great and emotional moment that will surely remain fixed in the hearts of our children – a father affirmed – but I would like to thank you above all for each day in which you gave them true happiness. They would come home satisfied at having experienced something great and beautiful. You have brought a breath of fresh air, of something new in this land.  You have given our children the possibility to open their minds to new horizons.”

“Despite the war, the Palestinians have shown, through their will power and in their work, that they are free,” declared Antonella Lombardo upon her re-entry from the Holy Land.

The Campus also received words of encouragement from Pope Francis who, through a letter, sent his blessing “as a guarantee of peace and prosperity” encouraging them to “persevere so as to as to create a sense of wellbeing among the people”.