International Dance Day is celebrated on 29 April every year, and commemorates the birthday of French dancer, ballet master and reformer Jean-Georges Noverre. This year’s IDD message is by Friedemann Vogel, principal dancer of Stuttgart Ballet. He writes:
“Everything starts with movement – an instinct we all have – and dance is movement refined to communicate. Much as flawless technique is important and impressive, it is ultimately what the dancer expresses inside the movement that is the essence.
“As dancers, we are constantly on the move, aspiring to create these unforgettable moments. Regardless of the dance genre, it’s what every dancer strives to achieve. So, when all of a sudden, we aren’t allowed to perform anymore, with theatres closed and festivals cancelled, our worlds come to a standstill. No physical contact. No shows. No audiences. Never in recent history has the dance community been so collectively challenged to stay motivated, to find our raison d’être.
“Yet, it is precisely when something precious has been taken away from us that we truly appreciate how vital it is what we do, and how much dance means to society at large. Dancers are often celebrated for their physical prowess, when in fact we are sustained even more by our mental strength. I believe it is this unique combination of physical and psychological agility that will help us overcome, to reinvent ourselves to keep dancing, and to keep inspiring.”
World Dance Alliance is a member of the International Dance Committee of International Theater Institute (ITI).