PDT traveled to Rome, Civitavecchia, and Assisi as an official Sister City Delegation representing San Francisco. In Civitavecchia, PDT performed for the children at Repubblica Dei Ragazzi, an orphanage founded by the Pope in 1945 after WWII. As guests of the City of Assisi, PDT performed with the Rondine Balletto di Assisi at the Sagrato della Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Artistic Director, Sherene Melania, received an award from Consul General Strozzi for “strongly contributing to strengthening the relations between Italy and the United States, reinforcing the ties between our nations.”
PDT travelled to Cork, Ireland, as an official Sister City Delegation, representing San Francisco. PDT was hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cork, for a private reception with members of Cork’s Arts Commission and the Cork Youth Ballet, promoting cultural exchange between the two nations. PDT Young Ambassadors experienced a traditional Irish Master Class with Michael Cahill of the Keniry Cahill Irish Dance Company. PDT performed for Cork’s Lord Mayor at The Firkin Crane, in collaboration with the Cork Youth Ballet Company, and Keniry Cahill Irish Dance Company. The triple bill performance received a standing ovation and PDT was presented an “Award of Excellence” on behalf of the City of Cork.
PDT was selected from 46 countries to open UNESCO’s International Dance Council’s 50th World Congress in Athens, Greece. PDT was the the only group invited to perform two pieces, representing the USA and the Assyrian nation. Melania’s fusion piece, combining traditional American dance, with a surprise Greek ending, led to a standing ovation, at the historic Dora Stratou Theater. As part of their social mission, PDT also visited an Assyrian Refugee Center. Our Young Ambassadors brought supplies and performed for the Assyrian Community and refugees displaced by ISIS.
At the invitation of Association Journée Internationale de Norouz, PDT performed for UNESCO’s International Day of Norouz. Over the years, PDT has performed at: le Palais de Chaillot, Théâtre du Gymnase and the Mairie du XVIe. PDT was additionally invited to perform for the Aga Khan Foundation at Les Pyramides. His Highness the Aga Khan, applauded the group for their “stunningly beautiful performance and remarkable cultural authenticity.” PDT was hosted by the US Embassy at the historic Hôtel de Talleyrand, as an official Sister City Delegation, representing San Francisco.
PDT performed at the European Parliament in Brussels for UNESCO’s International Day of Norouz, Persian New Year, which marks the first day of spring, signifying rebirth and renewal. Sherene Melania led the delegation, invited by Madame Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament, to discuss cross-cultural relations and the importance of arts education.
PDT performed at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence for the diplomatic corps, foreign ministers and cultural attachés, alongside a Hungarian folk ensemble, Csillagszemű. PDT also performed on the main stage of the Sziget Festival, one of the largest cultural festivals in Europe. In addition to their onstage performance, PDT provided free American dance workshops, with the support of the US Embassy. PDT was “the largest delegation from San Francisco to visit Hungary during my time as Ambassador,” said California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis. PDT received its first Cultural Diplomacy Award on this trip!
PDT Young Ambassadors were selected as the sole representatives of the United States of America at Turkish National Radio and Television’s (TRT) 32nd International Children’s Festival. Artistic Director Sherene Melania and student, Julia Zweifach, traveled to Ankara to meet the President of Turkey, the Prime Minister, and were presented at the National Assembly on behalf of the United States.
Members of PDT performed abroad at the invitation of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Culture. Performances at the famed White Nights Festival and for the 300th Anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo included the venues of the Catherine Palace, Pavlovsk Palace, and Peterhof Palace. More than 22,000 audience members enjoyed our live stage performances.
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