International Dance Day falls on the 29th March each year. Each year prominent figures from the world of dance are asked to talk about why dance matters on a global and social level. Here are some of this year’s messages.

  • Salia Sanou from Burkina Faso says:

“…whether we like it or not, whether we recognize it or not, we all share, whatever the colour of our skin, whatever our origins, wherever we live, a common base: humanity. It is this paradigm that guides and nourishes my creative process.”
“With the show “Desire d’horizon”, whose choreographic vocabulary as dramaturgy came from my experiences of working in dance workshops with refugees in camps in Burkina Faso and Burundi, I tried to transcend the images produced, tried to transcend the incredible violence observed in these places, these non-places, where each tries to live or at least tries to reinvent a little of oneself.”
“dance… conceals a universal knowledge that has survived all the time, it is a reflection of cultures and traditions that are as rich and varied as the many lines of union between peoples.”

  • Georgette Gebara from Lebanon says:

“…to me, our body is a temple. In it life begins; in it is the soul; in it the heart, that muscle that pumps love; its brain is the power of thought; good and evil struggle within its depths. The body brings movement, essence of life, to its most sublime form of expression: DANCE.”
“For dance is not only an expression of feelings, a celebration, or just entertainment. DANCE IS A STATEMENT. A statement that says more eloquently than any spoken language, that we are ONE.”

  • Willy Tsao from Hong Kong says:

“In the pursuit of excellence in contemporary dance, we value individual expressions; therefore, we learn to respect different opinions and diversity. We value the search of innovative ideas; therefore, we accept changes and are willing to adapt to new ways of living. We value the need for understanding current happenings and issues as a way to study human existence; therefore, we become more tolerant and understanding while we are face-to-face with each other regardless of any differences.”

  • Ohad Naharin from Israel says:

“Dancing is about being in the moment. It’s about listening to the scope of sensations and allowing that listening to become the fuel of all feelings, forms, and content. Yet, we should always remember where we came from.”
“At its best, dance can be sublime, even if far from perfect. We need to resist the conservative and conventional thinking that has roots in much of dance education and training, and let go of old ideas for new, better ones. And we must always remember to dance a little every day…”

  • Marianela Boán from Cuba says:

“Your body begins before you and is the place of all the rituals that belong to you.”
“When you listen to your body through dance, you also hear the bodies and dances of seduction and celebration which belong to your ancestors and your species.”
“In your body you carry the dances that will save you.”
“To each displaced person, refugee and exile from around the world, I say: you have a country that goes with you that nothing and no one can take away; the country of your body.”