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Students with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Open Up "Through the Heart of Tango"

04-11-2012 08:40 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Dance Into Unity

Rehearsing with Television and Broadway Stars Adds Captivating Authenticity to Powerful Documentary in Preparation for April 21st Charity Ball

Los Angeles, CA, April 11, 2012 -- The second round of rehearsals for the pairs of " Through The Heart of Tango", a Dance Into Unity documentary from Joey Travolta's Inclusion Films, delivered more than anyone could have anticipated. Veteran Hollywood director, Ray Martino and his crew from Inclusion Film’s workshop, themselves students with developmental disabilities, captured the essence of tango’s deep connection between the partners, with the instructors and most of all, with themselves.

“Everyone involved in this documentary possesses a happiness that I have rarely seen. I think I smiled more in those few hours than I have in the past few months,” described cast member, Travis Clark. “My budding relationship with my dance partner and “buddy”, Michael Rice is growing into what I believe will become a lifelong friendship.”

Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo demonstrated why they are world-renowned in the art of tango as the students stood mesmerized and clearly moved. The feeling was mutual.

“Spending time with these dancers was one of the most memorable experiences of my career and in my life,” said Ms. Larici. “I felt totally connected with each one of them. This experience will be in my heart forever.”

"Autism is part of the fabric of our society and we are all stakeholders in educating everyone on how we can better the lives and the human condition of all individuals in our society," said the documentary’s co-producer, Liza Krassner, Chief Administrative Officer of Public Health student programs at the University of California Irvine and Parent Ambassador of the UCI For OC Kids Neurodevelopmental Center. "The work that Dance Into Unity and Inclusion Films is doing through the arts is one of the best ways to achieve this goal."

Ms. Larici and Mr. Barrionuevo will be performing at the upcoming charity ball, "Through The Heart of Tango" on April 21-22 at Beyond the Stars Palace, 417 1/2 North Brand Blvd., Glendale, ,CA, benefiting autism programs. For sponsor information, contact Tracy Saunders, or 805/641-0824.

The documentary release date will soon be announced. For more information about the event, visit or call 310-393-3457.

About Dance Into Unity:
Dance Into Unity, Inc. (DIU) was founded in 2006 to raise autism awareness through the arts. From 2006-2008 DIU produced several Broadway-cast dance productions to raise autism awareness, attracting over 6,000 people. While looking for a solution to autism DIU founders came to the conclusion that autism affects us all. Inspired by this discovery they wrote the fairytale “Dance Into Unity through the Heart of Tango” (the basis for their dance productions) where they explored the concept of unity through universally familiar characters including Light, Truth, Snake, Disconnect, Dreamer and the Tango Dancers all on a quest to solve the “Puzzle of the Tall Tower”. The book is to be published this year. For more information about DIU and its founders please visit or call 310-393-3457.

About Inclusion Films:
In addition to his early years as a performer and actor, Joey Travolta worked as a special education teacher. Travolta founded Inclusion Films in 2006 after producing the highly acclaimed documentary, “Normal People Scare Me”, directed by an autistic teen. Through his unique professional experiences, this revolutionary film school trains adults with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. A vocational program for basic film production skills, students attend the film school Monday through Friday and are involved in all facets and specialties. Headquartered in Burbank, California Inclusion Films hosts a second location in Bakersfield, California and summer programs throughout the country. For more information, visit their website: or call 818-848-3708.

Dance Into Unity, Inc. (DIU) was founded in 2006 to raise autism awareness through the arts. From 2006-2008 DIU produced several Broadway-cast dance productions to raise autism awareness, attracting over 6,000 people.

Ivey Van Allen-Steinberg
Dance Into Unity
Los Angeles, CA

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