dancer_web.jpgDon’t miss Peter London Global Dance Co. and guest choreographers at the Little Haiti Cultural Center on Saturday, April 5. The evening features Peter London-instructed dancers as well as pieces choreographed by three of London’s former students who have gone on to successful dance careers.

“Featuring young choreographers is a necessity for the development of dance performance and education in our community,” he said. “These new voices need a safe, nurturing environment to experiment and develop their craft. My company’s mission is to make that possible for them and our community and to share the results globally.”

PLGDC was founded in the summer of 2010 by Trinidad-born London, a graduate of Julliard, a former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Co. and a current instructor at the Miami Dade College/New World School of the Arts.

The future of the young company was given a real boost when it was chosen to receive a grant from the highly-prestigious Knight Arts Challenge. Saturday’s showcase and fundraiser, London says, is just another example of the kind of innovative work he wants to continue bringing to South Florida.

Protégées of London’s whose work you will see are Lazaro Godoy and Armando Gonzalez, both Cuban natives, and Jamaican-born Christopher Rudd.

Rudd was the first black in the U.S. to dance the title role of The Nutcracker and has performed with such companies as the Alberta Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, North Carolina Ballet, Grand Ballet Canadien de Montreal and even created and danced for Cirque Du Soleil in Asia.

“It’s amazing to bring a part of myself back home and be allowed to showcase my work,” said Rudd, whose piece Soiling Eve will be among the featured dances. “Peter was one of my professors at New World and so it’s especially rewarding to have the opportunity to develop a work for his dance company. Few dancers who grew up in the 305 area come back home because there’s so little going on for us. Peter is nurturing dancers and choreographers and providing a venue – he’s making a profound difference.”

Twelve young dancers from cities that include Liberty City, Little Havana, Jacksonville and Pensacola make up the group of committed performers that will take to the stage on Saturday. Anasthasia Grand-Pierre, 25, who has been with London since he formed the company, says she’s a bit nervous but looking forward to the curtain going up.

“I began training with Peter when I started at New World and I remained one of his students right up until I received my B.F.A.,” she said. “What we’re learning is always challenging and we’re forced to push ourselves physically. But Peter’s accomplishments speak for themselves. His training has enabled dancers to secure jobs everywhere from New York City to Canada and Geneva. And he never stops teaching or mentoring his students.”

The program begins at 6 p.m. with a VIP reception and conversation with the choreographers at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. During the evening, Victoria London, Honorary Consul of Romania, and Joan Peven Smith, a member of the Funding Arts Network, both will be honored for their longtime support of local charitable organizations.

Victoria London, who recently pledged $100,000 to the company in order to help them complete their portion of the Knight Foundation grant, said, “Peter is a growing fixture in this community’s artistic growth and development of youth. I donated to his cause because as Winston Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.’”

Go to for ticket information or call 786-385-2353.