International Dance Day 2022: date, what is global event, and how is it celebrated around the world?
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the annual day which celebrates the art of dance
Dust off your dancing shoes, it’s time to celebrate a day of dance.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a rhythmic dancer who commands attention on the dance floor or feel like you’ve got too left feet; everyone can move - and every year on International Dance Day people across the world are encouraged to enjoy the power of dance.
It does not matter what type of dance you do either, whether it’s ballet, tap, street, ballroom or dad dancing - it all counts.
So, what is International Dance Day, why is it important and how can you celebrate it?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is International Dance Day?
International Dance Day is a celebration of all types of dance, and was created to recognise how the act of dancing can break cultural barriers.
The day was founded with the intention of bringing people of all backgrounds together through dance to encourage inclusivity and ease political, ethnic, and cultural tensions.
When is International Dance Day, and what is its history?
International Dance Day takes place each year on 29 April, and has been celebrated since 1982.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the day, which takes place on Friday 29 April 2022.
The date was chosen because it is the day the creator of modern ballet, Jean-Georges Noverre, was born.
Who founded International Dance Day?
International Dance Day was created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI).
The International Theatre Institute said on its website that “the aim of the celebration is to gather people together and show the world the beauty and diversity of dance art.”
It added: “(The day) acts as a wake-up-call for governments, politicians and institutions which have not yet recognised its (dance’s) value to the people and to the individual and have not yet realised its potential for economic growth.”
The ITI has several goals for International Dance Day.
- Helping the dance community promote its work on a larger scale, raising awareness for the importance of dance
- Promoting dance of all kinds from around the world
- Making others aware of the value of all forms of dance
- Enjoying dance in all its forms
- Sharing the simple joy of dance with others
How is International Dance Day celebrated?
This year’s International Dance Day will be celebrated virtually with video presentations of five dance productions from Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Americas, Europe and Arab countries.
The performances can be viewed on the International Theatre Institute’s website now.
Every year, the Executive Council and Dance Committee of ITI choose a new message they want the event to relay, and then a well-known dance personality is chosen to promote the message.
To mark the day, dances are commonly performed at theatres, dance schools and performing arts schools not only across the UK, but also across the world.
You can get involved in International Dance Day by watching any of the dance productions, either online or in person, and you can also have a dance yourself.
What is the message of this year’s International Dance Day?
The 2022 message for International Dance Day focuses on how the Covid-19 pandemic has made people rethink the meaning of dance and dancers.
The artistic director of the Korean National Ballet, Kang Sue-jin, has been chosen to lead this message.
Kang Sue-jin was the Honorary Ambassador of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, and she is renowned for introducing children with disabilities to dancing.
Sue-jin’s message reads: “Dance is made of ephemeral moments, which destines dancers to be on the move forever.
“Yet, Covid-19 has restricted and even blocked the art of dance in its original form. Even though the situation is improving, dance performances are still subject to many restrictions.
“This makes us cherish the precious memories of times when dance and dancers sparkled like jewels, conveying human anguish and anxiety, will and hope for life, and illuminated the world.”
You can read the full message on the International Theatre Institute’s website.