Monday, May 3, 2010

World Dance Day Celebrations

Every year on the 29th of April, World Dance Day, also known as International Dance Day is celebrated all over the world by the international community of dancers. Initiated in 1982 and co-ordinated by the International Dance Council (CID), World Dance Day is not linked to any particular form of dance. The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), a French ballet master considered to be the creator of modern ballet. On this day, special events are held to celebrate the occasion. They include special performances, open-door classes, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, etc. The official purpose of these events is to attract the attention of the wider public to the art of dance.

The International Dance Council (Conseil International de la Danse - CID) is the official umbrella organization for all forms of dance in all countries of the world. It is a non-government, non-profit organization founded in 1973 within the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where it is based. CID treats all forms of dance on an equal basis. It does not promote a particular view of dance, recognizing its universal character as an art form, as a means of education and as a research subject. Its purpose is to act as a worldwide forum bringing together international, national and local organizations as well as select individuals active in dance. Membership includes more than 400 institutions and over 3000 individuals in 150 countries.

In Malaysia, World Dance Day 2010 was celebrated at various locations around the country. In Kuala Lumpur, the National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage or Akademi Seni Budaya Dan Warisan Kebangsaan (Aswara) held an open-day event at its campus in Jalan Tun Ismail. The students of Aswara performed traditional Malay, Chinese, Indian, jazz and hip hop dances and also conducted free workshops. At the Black Box (theatre) @ MAP in Solaris Dutamas, the audience were treated to a performance by some of the country's top contemporary dancers. Among the outstanding performers was January Low (pic), an Indian classical dancer and protege of renowned Odissi and Bharata Natyam dancer, Ramli Ibrahim.

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