Roma Termini is the biggest train station in Italy. 480.000 passengers cross it every day, but most of them don’t know that, underneath the ground, there’s a lively and bustling reality, made of dance and music. Which comes from all over the world.
Under the ground, at the end of platform 24, there’s a place, a former recreational after-work space used by railway staff, used as a dancing studio. Here a multiethnic dance company practices and rehears since 10 years. They are immigrants, second and third generation, refugees, young artists, streets dancers, young boys and girls with very different – sometimes difficult – backgrounds.
T.U. began thanks to Angela Cocozza, an Italian choreographer willing to create a gathering and integration place through dancing. In this underground world, in the heart of Rome, dozens of kids from all over the world meet. Smashing prejudice through breakdance, hiphop, house and dancehall. Some of them are born in China, someone else in Russia. They come from Africa, Colombia, from Venezuela, Romania and Philippine. Also from Bangladesh, Capo Verde and Santo Domingo. But they grew up in Italy, some are born in Rome. They all feel Romans, they call Termini “home”. They are the new Italians, even though most of them still don’t own the citizenship. Some of the dancers that have artistically grown up in Termini and attended the studio for several years today hold lessons, followed by many. In this small rehearsal room you can feel the big metropolis atmosphere.
At Termini Underground teenagers from the Chinese community dance along with Romans following the steps of an African teacher.
T.U. project however does not fit in with increased standard levels of security in the station.
The existence of the school and the whole integration project is at risk.