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International Dance Day has been celebrated every 29 April ever since it was established in 1982 by the International Dance Committee and the International Theatre Institute (ITI). That day commemorates the hundredth birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1772), who, as dancer and maestro, is considered the creator of modern ballet.

Each year, the ITI commissions a leading figure from the world of dance to write a message to be read to the whole world. The aim of the celebration, and of the message, is to unite all forms of dance on this day, celebrating this art form as a whole and showing its universality.

The message of International Dance Day 2018 is diverse. To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the ITI and to underline the cross-cultural and international aspect of this common language – Dance – the Executive Council and ITI’s International Dance Committee have selected not one but five authors to write a message – one from each of the five UNESCO Regions: Africa, the Americas, Arab Countries, Asia Pacific and Europe:

  • - Africa: Salia SANOU, Burkina Faso
  • - The Americas: Marianela BOAN, Cuba
  • - Arab Countries: Georgette GEBARA, Lebanon
  • - Asia Pacific: Willy TSAO, Hong Kong, China
  • - Europe: Ohad NAHARIN, Israel

International Dance Day 2018 - message from Europe, by Ohad Naharin, choreographer, artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company, creator of the GAGA movement.

Dancing is about being in the moment. It is hearing sensations and turning them into the fuel of all feelings, forms and content, yet never forgetting where we came from.

When asked what my work is about, I first answer that it is about itself; about how all of its elements meet to create its own narrative. The dance narrative is one of volume, delicacy and the use of explosive power. It combines the research of movement, organization and structure. We laugh at ourselves; dynamics, overstatement and understatement and the connection between pleasure and effort, and the sublimation of each dancer’s madness, passion, and fantasy into a clear form.

At its best, dance can be sublime – even if far from perfect. We need to resist conservative and conventional thinking, in which much of dance education and training is rooted, and let go of old ideas for newer and better ones.

And we should always remember to dance a little every day... ... but never in front of a mirror.

vídeo: Alba Muriel