Through the Heart of Tango: Press Releases

Emotions Run High as Students with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities open up ‘Through the Heart of Tango’”

logo-DIUPR Log Press Release Distribution
(April 09, 2012)

Rehearsing with Television and Broadway Stars Adds Captivating Authenticity to Powerful Documentary in Preparation for April 21st Charity Ball
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:April 2, 2012, Los Angeles – The second round of rehearsals for the pairs of ” Through The Heart of Tango”, a Dance Into Unity documentary from Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films, delivered more than anyone could have anticipated. As the cameras rolled, everyone saw more clearly through the lens of someone living with a developmental disability, including those diagnosed with autism.The student dancers may have just recently met but the deep connections already formed took center stage as one of the students opened up about his unseen emotional scars.  As he shared, one of his fellow dancers approached to offer a comforting touch, a simple gesture of empathy generally uncomfortable for many living with autism.Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo demonstrated why they are world-renowned in the art of tango as the students stood mesmerized and clearly moved by this connection beyond words. Spending time with these dancers was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, said Ms. Larici.“Autism is part of the fabric of our society and we are all stakeholders in educating everyone on how we can better the lives and the human condition of all individuals in our society,” said the documentarys co-producer, Liza Krassner, Chief Administrative Officer of Public Health student programs at the University of California Irvine and Parent Ambassador of the UCI For OC Kids Neurodevelopmental Center.  “The work that Dance Into Unity and Inclusion Films is doing through the arts is one of the best ways to achieve this goal.”Ms. Larici and Mr. Barrionuevo will be performing at the upcoming charity ball, “Through The Heart of Tango” on April 21-22 at Beyond the Stars Palace, 417 1/2 North Brand Blvd. , Glendale, , CA , benefiting autism programs. For sponsor information, contact Tracy Saunders, or 805/641-0824.The documentary release date will soon be announced.  For more information about the event, visit or call 310-393-3457.

So , You Think You Can Dance With The Stars?”

logo-DIUSBWIRE PR Log Press Release Distribution
(March 13, 2012)
This press release was also picked up by following sources:
The Boston GlobeThe San Francisco,  Pasadena Star News,   Long Beach Press Telegram, Glendale,,  LA Daily News CalendarGoogle

“Through the Heart of Tango”, A Documentary by Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films
Pairs Individuals With and Without Autism.

March 12, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – When Joey Travolta was approached to produce a documentary about the connection that can be formed between persons with autism who are matched with dance partners without, he had no reservations.

“The passion I see every day with our students at Inclusion Films as they are introduced to the media arts, in our case filmmaking, is palpable,” said Mr. Travolta.  “What we’ve already seen from the Through the Heart of Tango audition footage proves that dance inspires a similar kind of passion.”

Through the Heart of Tango is the launch vehicle for the “Match A Friend” program, founded by Elena Alexandra and Lana David of Dance Into Unity.  “Through the Heart of Tango is designed to highlight the genuine connections can be formed, teaching diverse youth what it means to connect with individuals who have autism and other developmental disabilities,” said Ms. Alexandra

“The purpose of the film is to show how a person with autism helps us not only to see the world differently but change it for the better.  Someone who is seemingly disconnected actually helps us connect with ourselves, learning a new language beyond words,” added Ms. David.

Westchester native Haley O’Loughlin attended Dance Into Unity’s auditions at the urging of her own mother Lynda, the person she describes as her greatest inspiration.  As the cameras rolled, it became clear that Haley was just the kind of “lovely spirit” the creators of this project had in mind.    “I am so happy and excited that I get to be a part of this great project,” said the 16-year old.  “The audition was so much fun and everyone was so nice I can’t wait to get started.”

Haley will be joined by her childhood friend, Connor Coady of Playa del Rey, also chosen for the documentary.  “I hope this film shows people the positive side of autism,” said Connor.  “That unlike what some of the media wants to portray, autistics are not damaged, just different.”  The fact that among the many who auditioned, both made the final cut made this even more special for their families.

Filming at Inclusion Films’ studios in Burbank will take place on Tuesday, March 20th and Monday, April 2nd.  The film production crew is comprised of students from Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films (, a practical film workshop for adults with developmental disabilities.

Broadway and television stars Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo will be sharing the secrets of the tango as the participants listen to music, learn steps and study videos.  The film will follow each pair as the anticipation builds toward the finale.  Each set of peers will make their debut at a gala event in their honor on April 21st and 22nd at Beyond the Stars Palace in Glendale.

For more information about the event, visit or call 310-393-3457.

logo-DIUAbout Dance Into Unity:

Dance Into Unity, Inc. (DIU) was founded in 2006 to raise autism awareness through the arts. From 2006-2008 DIU produced several Broadway-cast dance productions to raise autism awareness, attracting over 6,000 people. While looking for a solution to autism DIU founders came to the conclusion that autism affects us all. Inspired by this discovery they wrote the fairytale “Dance Into Unity through the Heart of Tango” (the basis for their dance productions) where they explored the concept of unity through universally familiar characters including Light, Truth, Snake, Disconnect, Dreamer and the Tango Dancers all on a quest to solve the “”Puzzle of the Tall Tower””. The book is to be published this year. For more information about DIU and its founders please visit or call 310-393-3457.

logo - inclusion filmsAbout Inclusion Films:

In addition to his early years as a performer and actor, Joey Travolta worked as a special education teacher. Travolta founded Inclusion Films in 2006 after producing the highly acclaimed documentary, “Normal People Scare Me”, directed by an autistic teen.    Through his unique professional experiences, this revolutionary film school trains adults with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.  A vocational program for basic film production skills, students attend the film school Monday through Friday and are involved in all facets and specialties.  Headquartered in Burbank, California Inclusion Films hosts a second location in Bakersfield, California and summer programs throughout the country.  For more information, visit their website: or call 818-848-3708.