International Dance Day
International Dance Day is celebrated annually, on April 29. It was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Council (CID, Conseil International de la Danse), a UNESCO partner NGO. The date is not linked to a particular person or a particular form of dance, although it’s also the day when the French dancer and ballet master Jean-Georges Noverre was born. The main purpose of Dance Day events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance, which being a part of every culture, constitutes the ideal means for bringing together people from different countries and to address people who do not follow dance events. The president of the International Dance Council also sends the official message for Dance Day to every country around the world and it is posted at the official website for Dance Day.
The International Dance Council considers that while dance is an integral part of human culture, it is less prioritized by official establishments in the world. Professor Alkis Raftis, president of the International Dance Council, said in his 2003 Dance Day Message that In more than half of the 200 countries in the world, dance does not appear in legal texts and There are no funds allocated in the state budget to support this art form.
The focus of Dance Day for 2005 was on primary education. International Dance Council urged dance establishments to contact the Ministries of Education with the proposals to celebrate this day at all schools with writing essays about dance, drawing dance pictures, dancing in the streets, etc. The 2006 message addressed the reluctance of dancers to join collective organizations, expresses an opinion that this is a major reason of the lack of the due recognition (legislation, financing, visibility) of dance in society, and calls: “Dancers of the world, unite!” The 2007 Dance Day was dedicated to children.
Individual Dancers struggle to approach Government, Sponsors and the media and often achieve poor results, so in 2008, Alkis Raftis circulated an e-mail aimed at Governments (national, regional or local), sponsors (private or public) and the media (newspapers, magazines, radio, TV) stating that they are the three most important factors affecting the practice of Dance and proposed a better way to advertise dance through CID Sections representing all forms of dance, all levels, all functions”
The United Nations proclaimed 2010 as International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and designated UNESCO as lead agency, having regard to its experience of more than 60 years in advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples. The new Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, proposed a universal vision, which she called the “new humanism” – a vision open to the entire human community, providing a humanist response to globalization and crisis, aiming at the safeguarding of social cohesion and the preservation of peace. Dance Festivals also promote reciprocal knowledge and respect of diversity in the most lively manner.
Teachers offering classes in foreign countries provide immediate bridges of understanding ingrained into the bodies of dancers; there are tens of thousands of dance teachers crossing national borders yearly. Many people also attend dance festivals yearly Congresses and open conferences also provide opportunities to showcase one’s work to an audience of peers; there are dozens of international meetings of dance researchers, historians and critics in any given year. Attending festivals, classes or conferences and watching a dance from a foreign country is another way to vividly illustrate cultural diversity, Also In 2014, a flashmob of around 50 classical dancers also got together to perform.