National Dance Institute Hosts INNER VISIONS, Now thru 6/18


More than 250 children of National Dance Institute present a joy-filled performance of music and dance in the 2012 Event of the Year - Inner Visions: A Celebration of Stevie Wonder. Directed by NDI Master Teaching Artist and Alumna Bianca Johnson, Inner Visions is a reflection of Stevie Wonder's life and the key moments that inspired his groundbreaking music. The show features original choreography set to classics including Uptight; Sir Duke; Signed, Sealed, Delivered; Overjoyed; and For Once in My Life. Inner Visions will feature a special appearance by the 11-year-old piano protégé Matthew Whitaker. Performances will be accompanied by a live orchestra and chorus under the direction of Jerome Korman. Featured performers include vocalists Chanda Rule and Gregory Stamper, and select singers of Youth Pride Chorus. Inner Visions is made possible with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

This year's Event also celebrates NDI's long-standing partnership with the The Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School at Lighthouse International with an original dance, Pastime Paradise, featuring blind and visually-impaired dancers partnered with NDI Alumni and Interns. Says director Bianca Johnson, "Lighthouse International was the place where I was first introduced to NDI as a sighted guide for blind and visually-impaired dancers. I am honored to have them be part of this event, for these are the children who inspired me to become a teaching artist so many years ago."

Inner Visions is the culmination of NDI's yearlong celebration of Stevie Wonder that introduced his life and music to more than 40,000 children and members of their communities throughout New York City. Says Johnson, "It has been such a thrilling experience to share Wonder's music and legacy with the children of NDI. His life is a prime example of why every child deserves the opportunity to connect to the magic of the arts. In its 35th year, NDI has once again shown thousands of dancers all over New York City that nothing is impossible!"

National Dance Institute (NDI) was founded in 1976 by Jacques d'Amboise in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children and motivate them toward excellence. Each year, NDI transforms the lives of over 40,000 New York City public school children and their communities through weekly classes, short-term residencies, and public performances. Under the artistic direction of Ellen Weinstein and a staff of professional teaching artists, programs are offered to all children, transcending barriers of language, culture, physical and cognitive challenges. Children learn to work together and develop a personal standard of excellence, a pride of achievement, and a curiosity about the world that supports their success in school and in life. No child pays a penny for NDI's core programs.