Dancing on the Web, Dancing over the Ocean

This pilot project brought young people from various high schools and youth groups in Silicon Valley together with young people from the Joko Clubs in the African nation of Senegal. Joko Clubs are computer access and training centers providing Senegalese people access to internet to form a cultural website and an online community.

At the outset, these youth from two continents contributed to and communicated over a website.

Under the guidance of choreographers, they were to teach each other dances and created new dance forms that are informed by each otherÕs culture. The project culminated in a three-day series of performances at the Tapestry 2001 Festival in San Jose. Joko Club members, who were not able to join us in California where connected via the web enabling them to watch the performances as they were held in New Venture Hall at The Tech Museum of Innovation.

Project Components

Technology and the Internet. OpenVoice, a non-profit corporation located in East Palo Alto, built and maintained the website for this project,, as communication tool to connect the multiple and diverse Silicon Valley youth groups to each other, to the Joko Clubs in Senegal, and to a growing website audience. The performers wrote journals of their experience on the website and posted stories that relate to the experience of working with and making friends with their counterparts in a country and culture very different from their own.

* The site development and evolution was facilitated by interns and OpenVoice. Involvement from the dancers flowed through OpenVoice.

* Communication with Joko Clubs was mostly handled through email and then posted online via OpenVoice

* Webcast was streamed live from The Tech.

Dance and video workshops. Throughout July and August there were a series of intensive dance and technology workshops, about 30 in total. This is where the choreography and web journaling took place. They also worked on dance oriented video projects. Three days of performance. Over the Labor Day weekend, at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm on all three days the dancers performed to audiences of about 150 to 200 people. Estimated 1500 in total. Dancing on the Web was the most successful draw at the festival.