Dancers perform beyond.words on World Autism Awareness Day
To round out the events celebrating World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) on the evening of Thursday, April 2, Autism Speaks' friends and supporters gathered at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center in downtown Manhattan for a special performance of “beyond.words” presented by dre.dance company.
The evening was hosted by Autism Speaks' Executive Vice President Peter Bell, who welcomed the group and provided an overview of the day's events around New York City. The evening included a special appearance by Michele Pierce Burns, author of Danson: The Extraordinary Discovery of an Autistic Child's Innermost Thoughts and Feelings, who treated the audience to the poem, “Live Your Life Like You Mean It…,” from the book. Following the highly-charged performance, Bell joined dre.dance company Artistic Directors Andrew Palermo & Taye Diggs, as well as the dre.dance performers, for a lively and engaging question and answer period about the performance and its inspiration. The overwhelming sentiment in the room was that “beyond.words” successfully shed light on the beauty and spirit of individuals with autism. A reception followed the Q&A to complete the evening's celebration.