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Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Mindanao CotabatoCity
International Dance Day
MANILA, Philippines -- The celebration of International Dance Day started out as an initiative of the International Dance Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Theater Institute. It is celebrated every 29th of April around the world by teachers, choreographers, group leaders, journalists, researchers, associations, and other organizations. The date marks the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet.
Every year a message from an outstanding choreographer or dancer is circulated throughout the world. This year, the message was written by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, a Belgian choreographer and dancer and an icon of contemporary dance who views dancing as “a way of thinking” that embodies “the most abstract ideas and thus reveal what we cannot see… Dance is a link between people… we carry the world in our bodies.”
The celebration seeks to draw public attention to the art of dance. Emphasis is given to addressing the “new” public – people who do not follow dance events during the year. Prof. Alkis Raftis, President of the International Dance Council (Conseil International de la Danse), UNESCO, has proposed celebrating International Dance Day in open spaces: Streets, squares, parks, stadiums, beaches, parking lots, and clearings. Among the usual activities held to mark the observance are special performances, open door classes, public rehearsals, lectures, exhibits, publication of relevant articles in newspapers and magazines, dance evenings, radio and TV programs, street shows, parades, reading a message from a prominent personality in the field of dance, poetry reading or reading a passage from some famous author, and setting up show window displays.
International Dance Day or World Dance Day was created in 1982 to campaign for greater appreciation for dance as an art. Dance companies, dance schools, organizations, and individuals were urged to organize activities addressing an audience larger than their usual ones. They were urged to include general information on the art of dance, its history, its importance to society, and its universal character.
Dance as a form of artistic expression is at the core of every society and culture, along with music and songs. Dance has the power to bring together people of diverse social and cultural backgrounds. It transcends geographical borders, with international performances; dancers and teachers who perform and teach in countries other than their own become valuable mediums for achieving better socio-cultural understanding and tolerance for diversity. The digital age has made it even easier for dance as an art to serve as a vehicle for achieving and preserving unity and peace and providing “a humanist response” to the various problems confronting our global community.