One Billion Rising in Rome

As part of the global "One Billion Rising" campaign to end violence against women, a flash mob will “rise and dance” at the Spanish Steps on Thursday 14 February. Everybody is welcome to participate in the event which draws awareness to the estimated one billion women on the planet raped or beaten during their lifetime.

American choreographer Linda Foster will lead professional and non-professional dancers, women and men, boys and girls, as well as surprise guests, in a performance based on variations of the "Break the Chain" choreography. Those interested are asked to gather at the obelisk at the top of the Spanish Steps at 15.30 where dancers will go through the moves prior to the performance at 16.00. Organisers insist that everyone is welcome, even if they are only capable of raising their arms and clapping.

The plan is for a billion men and women in 189 countries to dance in protest over the violence against women. The event takes place on the occasion of Valentine's Day as well as the 15th anniversary of "V-Day", when the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign was founded by Eve Ensler, the American author best known for her play The Vagina Monologues, which has been performed in over 140 countries.

Elsewhere in Rome, St George's British International School in the La Storta district of the city is also marking the event. Drama teacher Anna Madden and professional choreographer Rachael Mossom, together with the senior dance club, will lead a flash mob in the school's oasis at 10.30 on Thursday 14 February. The flashmob will involve the entire school and it will be performed to the song Freedom by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton.

Anna Madden told Wanted in Rome: “The OBR motto ‘Strike, Dance, Rise’ is our driving motivation. As a community, St George’s will be striking, dancing and rising in solidarity with every woman who has faced and continues to face violence in her life. In particular we are showing our solidarity for Malala Yousafzai – the Afghan teenage education activist shot by the Taliban on her school bus last October – in support of her campaign for the right to an education.”

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