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May 1, 2009

Washington diplomats want to sell the rest of the world on the USA by sending out some special emissaries – two small modern dance troupes from Brooklyn.  The Fort Greene-based African-American modern dance companies will head overseas early next year as part of DanceMotion USA, a cultural diplomacy program launched Wednesday by the State Department and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. A company from San Francisco will also make the trip.  Officials hope to use culture and art to improve America’s image by sending the dancers to countries – such as Venezuela, Nigeria and Brazil – where its reputation has suffered in recent years.

Question to the Blogosphere:  In what ways can public diplomacy enhance awareness around the world of the common humanity the US shares with the rest of the world?  Do you think that dance troupes will be a particularly effective tool for public diplomacy in places like Brazil, Venezuela and Nigeria–by whom American dance has been inspired over time?  What other types of public diplomacy should America be investigating to improve her image overseas? 

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