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Cablegate: Vientiane Application for Eca Performing Arts Initiative

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVN #0925/01 3610955
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270955Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1712
INFO RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 2244
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0147
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0603
RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 0087
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2227

UNCLAS VIENTIANE 000925

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ECA/PE/C/CU-LPROCTOR, CBARROSSE;
DEPT FOR EAP/PD LHIGH, JBOOKBINDER
DEPT FOR EAP/MLS (BESTIC)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OEXC OIIP SCUL KPAO LA
SUBJECT: VIENTIANE APPLICATION FOR ECA PERFORMING ARTS INITIATIVE
(PAI) FUNDING - BATTERY DANCE COMPANY

REF: A) STATE 156978 B) TAIPEI 2618

1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: U.S. Embassy Vientiane requests ECA funding
in the amount of $11,500 under the Performing Arts Initiative (PAI)
for the Battery Dance Company (BDC) to travel to Vientiane for four
days (April 19-23, 2008). The BDC will conduct an Asian regional
tour with travel to South Korea, Burma, Laos, Taiwan, Mongolia and
China.


2. THE PERFORMERS: Battery Dance Company, a Lower Manhattan-based
modern dance troupe, is recognized at home and abroad as an
outstandingly creative and uniquely public-spirited team under the
leadership of artistic director Jonathan Hollander. Now in its 32nd
Season, BDC has become the "new face of cultural diplomacy" as
described in a Sunday New York Times article about its highly
successful performances and workshops in Cambodia last year.
Germany's Badische Zeitung deemed the Company's newest choreography
"simply gorgeous," and Ballet-Dance Magazine of London praised the
"wonderful fusion of dance, design and music."

BDC has represented the U.S. in international festivals such as
Stockholm 750, the Taipei Arts Festival and Poland's Malta Festival,
and the company has been chosen to open the American Days Festival
in Stuttgart and inaugurate the new U.S. Embassy in Berlin next
summer. One of BDC's greatest strengths is its multi-talented
dancers, each of whom also serves as a teaching artist in NYC public
schools as well as on BDC's overseas tours.

American choreographer and Fulbright alumnus Jonathan Hollander
combines his Western sensibility with an Asian flavor and
inspiration, having lived in Asia for several years. BDC is
dedicated to the pursuit of artistic excellence and the availability
of the Arts to everyone. For more details, please refer to its
website: http://www.batterydanceco.com.

The BDC has already made a commitment to this program.

Point of Contact at Battery Dance Company is as follows:

--Jonathan Hollander
--Artistic & Executive Director
--380 Broadway, Fifth Floor
--New York, NY 10013-3518

--E-mail: jonathan "at" batterydance.org
--Phone: 212-219-3910
--Fax: 212-219-3911

3. AUDIENCES: This program will target young Lao audiences in Laos,
which have little to no exposure to live performances by American
artists. Between the isolation of Laos and the legacy of war that
had left the bilateral relationship cool until very recently,
American performers rarely come to Laos. In keeping with its status
as the least developed country in the region, it is also very
difficult for Lao to travel to the United States. In short, it is
difficult to bring Lao audiences into direct contact with American
culture.

Given the small size of the country, and the difficulty of travel,
Post plans to have a workshop in Vientiane followed by a free public
performance at the National Cultural Hall, one of the largest indoor
venues available with seating for approximately 1300.

4. PROGRAM GOALS: This program looks to address Embassy
Vientiane's (MSP) goal of generating mutual understanding,
particularly among a younger audience, by building trust and
knowledge about American people and our values. Over 70% of the
population of Laos is under the age of 35 - so the youth make up a
huge target audience. The performance and master class of the BDC
will help generate goodwill and help provide a more accurate view of
American society, culture and values. Given the relatively
authoritarian nature of this government, we believe a demonstration
of American creativity, freedom, and individual expression through
dance will help build ties to this younger Lao audience in a
nonpolitical setting.

5. CO-SPONSORS: We are actively seeking corporate sponsorship for
the hotel costs but are concerned that the dependency of the Lao
institutions and organizations on foreign aid, and the perceived
wealth of Western embassies and international organizations will
make finding a sponsor difficult.

6. BUDGET: The total cost of the Taiwan project is estimated at
$20,100. Vientiane is requesting $11,500 from ECA under the
Performing Arts Initiative (PAI) to cover the Vientiane share of
international travel ($4800), artist fees of $6400 ($200/day, 8
people, 4 days), and miscellaneous costs for visas and additional
luggage fees upon departure ($300). Embassy Vientiane plans to
cover in-country travel, venue, production and lighting expenses,
hotel, and MI&E from post funds and/or corporate sponsorship.

The total budget breaks down as follows:

Total Days: 4 days (not including departure day)
Number of Company Members: 8 people (6 dancers, 1 tech director, 1
artistic director)

--Requested ECA Contribution from PAI:
$ 6400 Artists Fees ($200 x 8 x 4 days)
$ 4800 Laos portion of Intl Transportation ($24,000 for 5
countries)
$300 for visas, luggage allowance at departure

-- Vientiane Funding:
$ 2560 M&IE
$ 2040 hotel
$ 4,000 Local Production & Lighting and representation

------
$20100 Total Budgeted Cost for Lao program


7. REGIONAL PLANNING: Posts in South Korea, Burma, Taiwan, Mongolia
and China will also program the BDC as part of an Asia regional
tour. Posts interested in ECA PAI funds for this regional tour will
apply individually.

8. PROGRAM OFFICER:
Public Affairs Officer
Amy Archibald
Telephone: 856-21-26-7214
Fax: 856-21-267160
E-Mail: ArchibaldAE@state.gov

Cultural Affairs Assistant
Chanthanome Sydavanh
Telephone: 856-21-26-7047
Fax: 856-21-26-7160
E-Mail: ChanthanomeSX@state.gov

9. REPORTING AND EVALUATION: Embassy Vientiane's Public Diplomacy
Section will report on this program via cable and Mission Activity
Tracker (MAT) within two weeks of the completion of project. The
reporting will include program highlights (with photos) and an
analysis of how well the project met policy goals and reached target
audiences.

McGeehan

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