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BMS partners with dance troupe

Bristol-Myers Squibb is to partner with the renowned African-American dance company Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has announced a new partnership with the renowned African-American dance company Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to provide encouragement to people living with the disease. 

The partnership will centre on the creation of a dance piece inspired by stories submitted to a BMS website by people whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS. The work, to be created by a choreographer selected by Alvin Ailey artistic director designate Robert Battle, will be performed during the dance company's New York City Centre season in December 2011 and then will be taken across the country as part of a 2012 national tour. Alvin Ailey, the world famous dancer and choreographer who founded the company, died of AIDS in 1898.

The dance will be based on the 10 stories that are selected as winners for BMS' Reyataz "Fight HIV Your Way" web-based contest, which is now in its third year, although this is the first time the dance company has been involved. Other contest entrants may win tickets to see the dance company perform in New York. 

The contest invites people to submit a photo and essay that tell an inspiring story about how they have dealt with the effects of HIV/AIDS in their lives. The contest is open from the beginning of December through to the end of February, and winners are announced in July. 

Although the contest website prominently features the Reyataz logo and information on the drug, the contestants' entries may not include any mention of HIV treatment or names of medications. This year's contest website also features photos of Alvin Ailey company members dancing with red ribbons.

Reyataz (atazanavir sulfate) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2003 and became the first once-daily protease inhibitor to be launched on the US market.  The drug brings in about $1.3bn in annual sales for BMS. 

2nd December 2010

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