International Dance Day: Living Expression of a Country’s Culture

    More than an artistic expression, dance has become the best cultural letter of presentation of a nation

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    The world enjoys different forms of artistic manifestations, which vary in many cases according to the culture, customs and idiosyncrasies of each region. In 1982, at the initiative of the International Dance Committee, April 29th was proclaimed by UNESCO as International Dance Day. The chosen date coincides with the birth of the dancer and choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre.

    The objective of the International Dance Day is to bring together all those who have chosen this form of expression to overcome all kinds of cultural, political, ethical barriers and celebrate dance and its diversity.

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    Essence of Dance

    Through body movements, human beings have expressed and communicated since ancient times. Dance is a bodily expression that is generally accompanied by an acoustic rhythm. Little by little the art of dance has been changing and evolving, which is why, today, different styles and genres can be seen, ranging from the traditional and academic to the everyday.

    Jean Georges Noverre, considered the father of modern ballet

    Jean Georges Noverre was a choreographer who innovated in the world of dance. Today he is considered the father of modern ballet despite having been born in 1727. In those years, King Louis XV, a great ballet fan, held the throne.

    Noverre was a choreographer of the ballet company of the Opera Comique de Paris, reaping countless successes. His stage debut was in 1743 and such was his success that in 1755 he was invited to London, something not very common at that time. From the year 1760 he became a great ballet teacher in Stuttgart, Germany.

    It was here that he produced one of his most famous works, “The Ballet of Medea and Jason (1763). In 1766, sponsored under the patronage of Queen Marie Antoinette, he became the director of the Paris Opera. The choreographer died on October 10, 1810 in Paris.

    Purpose for the celebration of the International Dance Day

    Initially many people wondered if it was necessary to celebrate this day. UNESCO considered that if it was necessary for different reasons, among them because the day allows to draw public attention to this art.

    In the same way, on this day different forms of dance are vindicated as art. A clear example can be found with classical dance or contemporary dance, as well as the new styles of dance that are gradually appearing around the world and that are also a form of artistic expression.

    How is International Dance Day celebrated in the world?

    The main cities of the world carry out different activities. Part of them are workshops, shows of artistic expression, conferences among other activities. All of them revolving around the backbone of this celebration, dance.

    Every year, a representative of the highest level of dance in the world writes a few words. These are used as the official message for the International Dance Day. Among some of the dancers who have done it, we can highlight Maya Plisetskaya, Julio Bocca or Merce Cunningham, among many others.

    International Dance Day in Costa Rica

    International Dance Day is a good excuse to bring together all dance genres to celebrate this artistic manifestation and its universality, overcoming all barriers and uniting the world for the sake of peace and friendship with a common language of dance.

    In previous years, our country has celebrated this special day. For several years the National Association of Dance Workers (Anatradanza), organized classes, shows and different activities in the Plaza de la Cultura where the work carried out by each organization dedicated to art was made known.
    This year as a result of the Pandemic generated by COVID-19, this type of activity will combine its traditional activity with virtual events of all kinds through the main digital windows that technology offers.

    The art of dance allows to communicate through the expression of the body, feelings, moments, situations, and most importantly, it allows to show the world its roots, its traditions, its essence.

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