The International Dance Day was created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute ITI, the main partner for the performing arts of UNESCO in 1982. It was chosen on April 29 because it was the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, innovator, and scholar of this art, teacher, and creator of modern ballet. This celebration strives to encourage the participation and education of dance through events and festivals held during this date around the world. This day is a celebration day for those who can see the value and importance of the art form dance. The celebration of the International Dance Day gala takes place in a city previously selected by the ITI Executive Board. In 2017 the celebration was held in Shanghai, China; and for this 2018 is celebrated in Havana, Cuba.
This day the companies and dance schools, organizations and private dancers, carry out activities aimed at all national and international public so that people who do not usually take an interest in dance are part of these events and are closer to this art. It is a holiday celebrated by all the countries of the world with shows specially dedicated to dance. The program of the gala event may vary but usually consists of high-quality international presentations, speeches, etc. And of course, reading the message of the author selected for this year.
Since its creation in 1982, the International Dance Committee and the International Theatre Institute ITI select an outstanding dance personality to write a message for International Dance Day each year. For this celebration in Havana, Cuba, in keeping with the spirit of the anniversary celebrations, this year’s celebration will have an unprecedented 5 Message Authors, each hailing from one of the 5 different UNESCO Continents (Africa, America, Arab Region, Asia-Pacific, and Europe). Having 5 great dance personalities to express their messages this day was a decision taken to underline the cross-cultural and international aspect of this common language – Dance, and to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the International Theatre Institute. These are the 5 messages of the International Dance Day celebrated today:
Message from The Americas. By Marianela Boán, Cuba – Choreographer, dancer, and teacher.
“Your body begins before you and is the place of all the rituals that belong to you. When you listen to your body through dance, you also hear the bodies and dances of seduction and celebration of your ancestors and your species. In your body, you carry the dances that will save you. The one who dances touches the other beyond the skin; it touches its weight and its smell, it defeats the tactile screens and it erases the borders between the bodies and the nations.”
Message from Africa. By Salia Sanou, Burkina Faso – Dancer and choreographer. “Dance or sense of the future.”
“How to transmit this message to the entire human community without thinking about all those migratory bodies, forced to travel and exile in the whole world? As a choreographer and dancer, having traveled across all continents to present my work and have enriching experiences in contact with others, can I look away from the chaos that shakes the world, and in particular, the migratory danger? No, I look at it with darkness, brutality, but also with all the opportunities; the opportunities that contemporary dance has allowed me to discover to be part of an era.”
Message from Asia and the Pacific. By Willy Tsao, Hong Kong – Founder and artistic director of the City Contemporary Dance Company and the BeijingDance.
“Dear friends of the international dance community, the world seems to be in constant dissidence and in trouble. We have witnessed, especially in recent years, incessant conflicts between countries, ethnicities, and cultures. As practical dance, I can not help wondering if art can somehow become an antidote to prevent or counteract some of the disorders that threaten world peace and harmony. ”
Message from Europe. Ohad Naharin, Israel – Choreographer, artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company and creator of the GAGA movement language.
“Dance is about being in the moment. It is about listening to the range of sensations, allowing that listening to become the fuel of all feelings, forms, and contents. However, we must always remember where we came from.”
Message from Arab Countries. Georgette Gebara, Lebanon – Dancer, choreographer, dance teacher and founder of the ÉcoleLibanaise de Ballet. “East & West: Dance Dialogue”
“Indeed, whether we sit on the floor, hang on to a barre, fly in the air, stamp our boots on some mountain peak, whether we wave our hips lasciviously under a tent or in a nightclub, our language binds us together! For dance is not only an expression of feelings, a celebration, or just entertainment. DANCE IS A STATEMENT. A statement that says more eloquently than any spoken language, that we are ONE”
Costa Rica’s Celebration
A multicultural and artistic country as Costa Rica does not escape to celebrate this International Day of Dance, since for several years the National Association of Dance Workers (Anatradanza) has organized classes, shows and even a great Dancing act for all audiences in the Plaza de la Cultura that this year will be enlivened by Son de Tikizia. The activity will bring together 10 national groups, including Los InNato, Danza Abierta, Metamorfosis, Yamborí and the Paulina Peralta Academy, among others, and it is a great celebration in which the public can dance and learn more about dance.
This year Anatradanza has organized a gala for professional companies that will be held on 29, and the traditional dance marathon known as Danzatón. Both meetings will take place at the Dance Theater located at the National Center of Culture, Cenac.