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Haitian Dancers Tour Area To Rebuild From Earthquake

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By Matt Laslo

A dance group called the Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti is kicking off its U.S. tour in the Washington area. They're raising money to rebuild two orphanages destroyed in January's earthquake.

When on stage dancing in their bright yellows, vibrant greens and big smiles, you would never know these young men came from Haiti's slums. All were orphans, some slaves, and many were beaten.

The nonprofit Hearts with Haiti gave them shelter and a family. Then the earthquake destroyed two of the group's three homes. Now they dance to rebuild.

"We see it like its a resurrection from the rubble," says drummer Bill Nathan.

He saw the rubble first hand as he was tossed from a seven story building during the quake, cracking ribs and tearing ligaments during his 80 foot fall.

Now he drums as dancers act out scenes beyond the earthquake; from farming with machetes to begging and working for pennies on Haiti's streets.

As a former slave Nathan says his art is deeply personal.

"Being a performer and being a drummer it's a way of sharing my story and also of the kids on the street," says Nathan.

The Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti is performing in the region through Sunday.

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