Celebrate International Dance Day!

by joegio

According to UNESCO partner the International Theatre Institute’s International Dance Committee, today is INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY!  You might think this is one of those days where you’re supposed to do a wacky dance in a very public place to celebrate  “interconnectedness” or some crap like that and load it on youtube.  Thankfully, it is not that.  But you can do that, too.

No, today is primarily about dance as kind of an abstract thing.  Your basic International Dance Day seems to consist of a well-known dance personage distributing a message.  This year it’s Lin Hwai-min, the artistic director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, and you can watch or read his message here: http://www.international-dance-day.org/en/index.html

And that’s kind of it.  There was a show in Chicago yesterday, which makes sense because today is a Monday.  Incidentally, the date April 29 was chosen because it’s the birthday Jean-Georges Noverre, the inventor of modern ballet.  So sometimes it falls on a Monday and you don’t know you missed the only celebration in Chicago until the next day.  Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, here’s your major take away for the day: in most schools and governments around the world, apparently dance isn’t a budget line item.  It’s usually lumped in generally with performing arts and doesn’t get the same attention that say, music programs or visual arts programs get.  A lot of today is about reminding people that hey, dance is a thing.  Don’t forget about dance.  Maybe it’s to the performing arts what poetry is to fiction (more obtuse, fewer people like it), but it’s still totally awesome.

I just spent a week running lights for a dance show and it’s true: dance is totally awesome.  Actually, Lin Hwai-min probably says it better:

Come, turn off your television, switch off your computer, and come to dance. 
Express yourself through that divine and dignified instrument, which is our body.
Come to dance and join people in the waves of pulses. 
Seize that precious and fleeting moment.
Come to celebrate life with dance.


QUESTION OF THE DAY: Shall we dance?