SHANGHAI, China. 27 July, 2010 – Earlier this month, Cisco TelePresence™ equipment enabled the first virtual dance rehearsal of young dancers of the Children’s Palace in Shanghai and their counterparts from National Dance Institute (NDI) in New York. These talented children began preparations for their joint performance from opposite sides of the world using Cisco’s high-definition, video collaboration technology. Today having performed with more than 100 children from NDI in New York, these young performers, “The Shanghai Five,” will reunite with their loved ones back home who are beaming in from the Cisco® Pavilion at World Expo over Tata Communications’ global TelePresence network.
This event marks the beginning of an initiative by Tata Communications and Cisco to use technology to virtually reunite families separated by distance. The two companies will open their TelePresence facilities for two Sundays so that families in Shanghai can have a rich in-person interactive session in real time with their relatives living abroad. The Family Reunions program will run for the duration of World Expo, which ends on October 31, 2010.
The children who are participating at today’s family reunion traveled to New York to perform at the invitation of National Dance Institute, a non-profit arts education organization founded by Jacques d’Amboise, former principal dancer of New York City Ballet. Today, d’Amboise, along with Artistic Director Ellen Weinstein and several NDI dancers, joined the “Shanghai Five” to meet the Chinese dancers’ parents who were in the Cisco Pavilion at World Expo in Shanghai. Over the course of their reunion, the children will share the details of their trip and what they have missed most about being away from home.
“Today’s technology has the power to connect people in ways that were unimaginable 10 years ago, and Cisco TelePresence offers users an unparalleled real-time video collaboration experience,” said Benny Lee, managing director, Unified Communications and Collaboration, Greater China, Cisco. “The Cisco TelePresence experience is a key aspect of Cisco’s vision of a smart and connected life, and by reconnecting families, Cisco’s technology is able to spark the imaginations of a wider demographic, from children to grandparents, and to change the way people live, work, play and learn.”
“Tata Communications is excited to expand accessibility to TelePresence technology beyond the traditional role of being a tool for businesses,” said Peter Quinlan, senior director, Managed Telepresence Services, Tata Communications. “Although these families are separated, they can use our TelePresence rooms all over the world in places like Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto, London, Singapore, and Sydney, to meet with one another face to face in part of this seamless global network.”
The Shanghai Five have been participating in NDI’s Irene Diamond Summer Institute, an intensive month long dance workshop, along with talented dancers from the US. While with NDI, the Shanghai Five have also been teaching their New York classmates elements of Chinese folk dancing.
“Dance allows these students to express themselves fully through both music and movement,” said d’Amboise. “As they have performed with some of our dancers here in New York, these dancers embody two beautiful stories – One story they tell through their movements on the stage, and the other story is the one that they will tell their family and friends about this journey. Cisco TelePresence technology lets them begin sharing that story before they even return home. They share it through their smiles and laughter and pictures – elements of expression that would be limited by other forms of communication.”
These students have performed in West Hartford, Conn.; in New York City at NDI’s Summer Institute; and with children of Hunter, New York in collaboration with the Catskill Mountain Foundation.
Cisco and Tata Communications continue to invite families to register for a chance to participate in a virtual family reunion. Winners are chosen based on both compelling applications and the benefit that Cisco and Tata Communications believe the families would receive from this opportunity to experience a Smart+Connected Life.
To learn more about these family reunions and to submit your entry, please visit:
To see a video of NDI’s dance rehearsal over Cisco TelePresence, please visit:
Tata Communications Telepresence YouTube Channel
About Cisco Systems
Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, this year celebrates 25 years of technology innovation, operational excellence and corporate social responsibility. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com. Cisco products are supplied in China by Cisco Systems International, BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.
About Tata Communications
Tata Communications is a leading global provider of a new world of communications. With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global and pan-India network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and Indian consumers.
The Tata Global Network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a Tier-1 IP network, with connectivity to more than 200 countries across 400 PoPs, and nearly 1 million square feet of data center and collocation space worldwide.
Tata Communications’ depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services, leadership in global international voice, and strategic investments in operators in South Africa (Neotel), Sri Lanka (Tata Communications Lanka Limited), Nepal (United Telecom Limited).
Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. (NYSE: TCL)
About National Dance Institute
National Dance Institute is a not-for-profit organization founded in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children and motivate them towards excellence. Using professional artists and a distinctive combination of dance classes and performances integrated with music, literature and the visual arts, children learn how to work together to reach for their personal best. Over 2 million children have participated in NDI programs. NDI was founded in 1976 by world-renowned New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise, and since 1995 has been under the artistic leadership of Ellen Weinstein. For more information, please log on to http://www.nationaldance.org.
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