International Dance Day
annually on April 29th (since 1982)
International Dance Day is a day of celebration for those who see the importance of dance, and is a day to enjoy dance and share it with others. It is used to encourage politicians, governments, and institutions to recognize the value of dance to individuals and the economy, and is also used to promote dance around the world. It was created in 1982 by the Dance Committee of the International Theater Institute ITI, which is a performing arts partner with UNESCO. The date of April 29 was chosen because it is the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, the creator of modern ballet.
Each year an important dance personality, such as a choreographer or dancer, is chosen to write a message for the day. The intention of the message is to break down all barriers and celebrate dance as a universal art form and common language. In that spirit, the message is translated into many languages and distributed around the world. More recently, the year's message has been posted on YouTube. It is also often read before dance events around the world on the day, and published by newspapers and magazines.
Events are held at locations such as dance venues, theaters, and universities, and include things such as charity and fundraising performances, free dance performances, conferences and discussions, meetings with dancers and choreographers, street dance festivals, and flash mob dances. There is also a main event held somewhere each year, that includes speeches, presentations, and performances. The author of the year's message is usually present, and performances by or connected to them many times take place.
How to Observe International Dance Day
Celebrate the day by attending the main event or an event around the world. You could even organize one of your own. The International Theater Institute ITI recommends those who want to make an event for the day to coordinate with a center or with the cooperating members of their region. Information on these contacts can be found in the directory on the International Theater Institute ITI website. Dance performances not necessarily connected to the day could be attended. This year's author or authors and their message may be read, and you could also read about past authors and their messages. This is also a good day to enroll in dance lessons or to go out dancing.