I have a dream 
(A dance production about the spiritual paths of men and women of our time) 
March 28, 2008 

Venue: Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Italy
Dates: 14-18 March 2008
Choreography: Luciano Cannito with interventions by Ileana Citaristi and Tadashi Endo
Direction: Beppe Menegatti

This unique dance production was inspired by a sentence written by Mother Theresa of Kolkata on a postcard directed to Carla Fracci, the legendary Italian prima ballerina: "God loves you tenderly; put your love for him in your dance so that  people may be attracted to him through your dance. God bless you."

The title "I have a dream" is taken from the speech, which Martin Luther King did in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on the 28th of August 1963 at the end of a march in favor of the civil rights of the black people. It is to him that the first segment of the ballet is dedicated, followed by Ernesto Che Guevara, the Cuban martyr who died for the liberation of his country from the American domination. The other segments were dedicated to Edith Stein, the Jewish nun who gave her life for helping the prisoners in the concentration camps during the Nazism; the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, recently killed in Russia for her investigating work on the links between the mafia and the establishment; Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi the two great Indian symbols of peace and non violence; Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese leader who lives as permanent prisoner in her own country; the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, the women who challenged the dictatorship in Argentina during the Peron regime and Jan Palach who set himself to fire in Praga in January 1969 for demonstrating against  the Russian invasion in Czechoslovakia.

Each segment had a different choreography with a different music (played live by an orchestra of about 60 elements directed by Marzio Conti) and ended with a recitation  (by Italian actor Remo Girone) of excerpts from scripts written by the respective leading characters. Star classical dancers such as Carla Fracci (Mother Theresa), Hans Vancol (Marthin Luther King),  Alessio Carbone (Che Guevara and Jan Palach), Luciana Savignano ( Edith Stein, Aung San Suu Kyi),  Giuseppe Picone (Mahatma Gandhi), Rossella Brescia ( Madre de Plaza de Mayo) were supported by the excellent ensemble of dancers of the Teatro Massimo repertory group. 

The Indian group of Art Vision, lead by Ileana Citaristi with co-dancers Saswat Joshi, Alisha Mohapatra, Subhalaxmi Samal, Pragya Patnaik and Rojalini Srichandan took part in the segment dedicated to Mother Theresa to create a counterpoint to the leading pair of classical dancers Carla Fracci and Giuseppe Picone. The music for this segment was from the concert of sitar and orchestra played by Ravi Shankar in the late seventies with the London Symphony Orchestra, in raga Sindhi Bhairavi and Atana. 

The choreographic treatment of the entire production (3 hours duration) was allegoric and yet explicit; the message which each character conveyed through its own life was suggested through music, choreography and text in a way which was far from being pedantic and prosaic and yet was able to unveil the mission for which each of them lived. The public (full house for all the six replicas) who demonstrated their enthusiasm each time by repetitive applause, by throwing  flowers from the galleries and by shouting 'bravo, bravo' to their favorite stars, seem to have realized the intention of the director who wanted that "by watching and hearing the performances with open mind, each one would return home with something different in the centre of their hearts."