NEW YORK, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten thousand local and international dancers flocked to the streets of New York City last weekend for the 7th Annual Dance Parade and DanceFest last Saturday, but Ovation, America's only arts network, was invited there to make a point: Dancers and artists of every kind need to Stand for the Arts and bring back Ovation to Time Warner Cable's channel lineup.
Ovation, which was dropped from Time Warner Cable at the beginning of the year, has been encouraging viewers to sign its online petition at www.bringbackovation.com. Over 75 thousand people have signed and on Saturday, volunteers armed with iPads recruited approximately 1,200 additional people to join their army of artists. In addition, the network has encouraged viewers to write their local government officials and approximately 300 have been collected so far.
The Dance Parade is a moving spectacle of costumed dancers running down Broadway and ending with a festival in Tompkins Square Park featuring staged performances, free workshops and dance classes. Ovation joined the festivities by including a "Bring Back Ovation" float, which served as a rolling platform for Miss New York City Acacia Courtney, Princess Lockerooo of So You Think You Can Dance fame and many other local and international dancers urging the crowd of an estimated 75,000 to support Ovation.
"Our organization, which celebrates the art form of dance, recognizes that today, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers no longer have access to the arts on television because Time Warner Cable has taken Ovation off its line-up," said Greg Miller, Executive Director of Dance Parade New York during the event. "This is New York after all – an arts mecca – and we think it's outrageous that this city does not have access to Ovation. Our city wouldn't be what it is without the arts and Time Warner Cable customers certainly can't 'Enjoy Better' – as their slogan touts – without the arts."
A group of impassioned Dance Parade participants gathered at the Time Warner Cable retail outlet on 23rd Street for an impromptu protest, which featured chanting and dance. An amused crowd of onlookers quickly formed, who joined in the action.
The grand marshals for the event were world-renowned choreographer Jacqulyn Buglisi, DanceAfrica founder Baba Chuck Davis, and Grammy Award®-winning DJ Louie Vega, and New York City Council woman Rosie Mendez, who addressed the participants at the festival following the parade. This year's theme was "Unity Through Dance" and included 200 dance groups performing 80 styles of dance from African to belly dancing, hip hop to roller disco and Jamaican dance hall to zouk. The event also featured 100 youth who participated in Dance Parade's Community Engagement Education program sponsored by New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, with additional support by Dance Parade New York's Board of Directors, and a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Ovation is America's only arts network, whose mission is to connect the world to all forms of art and artistic expression. Ovation programming is one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of nearly 50 million homes and is available on national cable systems, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Ovation is also available on VOD (in both standard and high definition). Ovation's diversified viewer experiences extend across its linear network, the popular ovationtv.com, and active social presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. See the Ovation Facebook page for the latest information and conversations happening across the Ovation brand and the arts: www.facebook.com/OvationTV.