I would like to introduce you to a new social project in Lebanon called: R E P E R C U S SIONS. Lebanon is a small country but its population is an amazing melting pot of people coming from multiple backgrounds, religion, culture etc… However, most of the time, those differences form a kind of barrier specially at the level of children and teenagers. This project is about facing and solving this issue by organizing a special ” Steppin’ ” workshop with children and teens from different backgrounds. To get all the details about R E P E R C U S SIONS here is a text that explains everything:

Foster tolerance and diversity through facilitating the interaction of children and teenagers from different social, religious and cultural backgrounds.
Helping youth in Lebanon overcome the fear of differences and of the unknown by creating a public space where language and financial means are not barriers to integration

Create a public space through dance
Target future generations of Lebanon
Use step dancing (stepping and clapping) as a means to bring together children and teenagers from all walks of life living in Lebanon
Gather 150 children from different nationalities (Arabs, Armenians, Palestinians, Iraqis, Europeans, Filipinos, Sri Lankans, Ethiopians, Sudanese…), and social and religious backgrounds (public and private schools)
Unite 150 children and teenagers through a 5-day workshop that will conclude with a public performance on stage
Raise awareness of the importance of diversity, and advocate against racism and sectarianism through a media campaign
Create a documentary short film about the whole project that will be widely-distributed

“Stepping is tap dance without tap shoes, James Brown without the music of the JBs, Cab Calloway sans piano, a marching band without John Philip Sousa. It is jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, and rap without instruments. Stepping is lean and mean. The music comes from the synchronized interplay of hands and feet, from chants and hollers. It is a way to make music using the body as instrument.”  Jill Nelson, The Washington Post
Stepping also teaches discipline, it teaches children to work and be together through rhythm.
The workshop will be given by Step Afrika (www.stepafrika.org), an internationally recognized group that has extensive experience with children from diverse backgrounds.

What is the project?
– A 5-day workshop in coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education starting on Wednesday July 13, 2011 until Sunday July 17, 2011
– Offering stepping sessions to 150 children from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm (including lunch and transportation)
– Conclude the workshop with a public performance on stage on Sunday July 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Target audience (selection in progress)
– Stepping sessions will be divided into 5 classes (30 children each) according to their age 12-17 yrs, mixing genders, educational backgrounds, NGOs associations, religions, and nationalities.

Who is giving the workshop?
7 artists/Steppers from Step Afrika will train the children in cooperation with 5 local dancers

Where are the workshop and the show taking place?
The workshop and the show are free of charge to participants and attendees.
– The 5-day workshop will take place at ___________ public school
– The performance will take place at _____________

Here is a video showing the work of Step Afrika:

You can join R E P E R C U S SIONS page on Facebook by clicking Here.