The World Dance Alliance is an organization whose primary goal is to be an advocate for dance worldwide. The World Dance Alliance was created to answer the desire and need for dancers worldwide to communicate and exchange ideas on issues that are of common concern, recognizing that we have truly become a global village. Dancers, choreographers, teachers, school and company directors, critics, historians, ethnologists, notators, archivists, therapists, managers and others working in dance related fields, have all come together to create a new organization that will speak for dance in its many aspects and voice its concerns.
The World Dance Alliance is an independent, non-profit, non-political, non-religious organization. Its membership is open to all individuals interested in dance regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. It is basically a service organization that will act as an advocate for dance world wide. One of its major missions is to create an international communication network for dance through publications and computer systems.
The World Dance Alliance does not wish to supplant existing organizations. On the contrary, its purpose is to work closely with dancers and groups from all over the world on cooperative projects. There are maNy international organizations today that deal directly or indirectly with dance matters. One of the WDA goals is to work with these organizations in a synergetic manner to achieve greater results than any group can do alone.
- To serve as a primary advocate and support group for dance worldwide.
- To establish a center of information and communication for dance organizations and individuals, a forum for the exchange of information, ideas, expertise, and resources in all areas of dance with the publication or presentation of information in several languages.
- To encourage awareness of, access to, and understanding of dance as an art, a ritual or traditional expression, and a leisure time activity in communities throughout the world.
- To assist in the identification and promotion of all dance traditions, in recognition of their cultural importance.
- To encourage the protection of dance repertoire in all forms by preservation in notation, film, and media to be devised.
- To coordinate and enhance the work of existing dance organizations through international meetings.
- To assist in international exchanges and to encourage dialogue among people working in dance regardless of affiliation.
- To build through dance a saner, safer world through cooperation on global projects.
Administratively, The World Dance Alliance exists at three levels: The WDAExecutive Council, the Regional Centers, and the National/ Regional Chapters. The Executive Council has an Executive Director and a Secretariat to conduct the business of the Alliance.
Since 1990, when the WDA was established in Hong Kong, four Regional Centers--Americas, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Europe--have been developing separately but with communication among the secretariats. Each center has its own officers; each has developed its own operating procedures; and each has focused on different aspects of growth depending on the needs in its geographical area.
Each of the WDA Regional Centers holds Assemblies which usually include both a Festival and a Conference.
The Americas Center has Assemblies every two years: The first was in 1993 in New York; the second in 1995 in Mexico City; the third in Vancouver in 1997; and the fourth will be in Philadelphia in 1999.
The Europe Center has had many meetings but will just be having its first big Assembly in Essen in October this year with delegates from West and East Europe, the Near East, and Africa.
The Asia Pacific Center has been having annual assemblies since 1986. A summary of those events follows.
The Asia Pacific International Dance Event was first presented in Hong Kong in 1986 to celebrate the establishment of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts School of Dance. The event included an International Dance Conference and an International Festival of Dance Academies. In addition, a Dance Showcase, plus workshops, master classes, and various adjunct activities were organized.
The International Event was presented in Hong Kong for five years from 1986 to 1990. Since then various Asian cities have hosted the event as follows: 1991 in Manila; 1992 in Taipei; 1993 in Tokyo; 1994 in Kuala Lumpur and in Beijing; 1995 in Seoul; and in 1996 in Melbourne and in Jakarta.
The 1997 event will take place in Hong Kong in July/August and the 1998 event is proposed to take place in Manila in August 1998.
This Annual International Event has become the major activity of the World Dance Alliance: Asia Pacific Center and it has contributed greatly to cultural exchanges through dance world wide.
WDA Chapters are being organized at the National level. These chapters are important points in the global communication network to facilitate information both going out of and coming into a country. National chapters have a role to play in coordinating dance within the country. These chapters propose and implement projects which will address not only the general goals of the WDA but also the specific needs of the local dance community. The Australian Chapter of the WDA is located with the Ausdance National Secretariat.
In addition to the organizational structure outlined above, communication, liaison, and cooperation among individuals and related dance organizations are effected through Committees. The subject areas of these committees vary from Center to Center and are currently in a state of rapid development. They include areas of concern such as Choreography, Dancers' Welfare, Education and Training, Research and Scholarship, Documentation and Archiving, Dance Health: Science and Therapy, and Promotion of Dance.
WDA CURRENT PROJECTS
Establishment of a Web Site:
Information for the Dance World will include:
- An International Dance Calendar.
- An Exchange Bulletin Board.
- Databases related to Dance Research, Choreography, Dance Education
World Dance 2000: A Celebration of the Millennium
The Overall Theme of this Project is: "Dance in the Past, Present, and Future"
The World Dance Alliance has made a proposal for a project around which a series of events can be organized world wide. World Dance 2000 will give dancers of the world an opportunity to cooperate on a wide range of activities that will stimulate further international exchanges in and promote friendship through dance.
1999: The Past - "Heritage"
Presenting a rich variety of dance in a global perspective with an emphasis on continuity and international exchanges.
Global Assembly: Hosted by the WDA Americas Center Philadelphia, USA in June
Proposed Database: An Inventory of World Dance Heritages: Extant, Endangered, Extinct
2000: The Present:"Celebration"
Coordination of events to commemorate the beginning of a New Age with an emphasis on contemporary choreography.
Global Assembly: Hosted by the WDA Asia Pacific Center Tokyo, Japan in July
Proposed Database: Choreographers of the World: Brief Biographies and Bibliography
2001: The Future: "Vision"
Considering the needs, potential, and plans for dance in the new Century with an emphasis on dance education.
Global Assembly: Hosted by the Europe Center, city and date to be announced.
Proposed Database: Teaching Materials for World DancE Cultures: Texts, Scores, and Videos
The WDA proposes to expand its International Dance Calendar to include all World Dance 2000 related events and make it available on the forthcoming WDA Web Site.
The need for an international dance communication network has been discussed for many years by many people in many different locations. A brief historical outline of its development follows:
In 1978, it was mentioned at the ADG/CORD Conference on Dance in Asia and the Pacific held at the University of Hawaii in July, 1978. The participants at that Conference promised to stay in touch and explore the idea further.
In 1986, at the First International Dance Conference in Hong Kong, the need for an International organization was discussed for Asia and the Asia Pacific Dance Alliance was established in Summer of 1988.
In 1988, the idea was strongly expressed at the International Theatre Institute Conference on Research held in Essen, and plans were made to make the discussion of a new international dance organization a key item in the
agenda for the Hong Kong International Dance Conference planned for two years later.
In 1990, the Hong Kong International Dance Conference was attended by over 500 members of the global dance community. At that time, several meetings were held to explore the idea and an Ad Hoc Committee decided to form the World Dance Alliance. The official date and place for the founding of the World Dance Alliance is August 1990 in Hong Kong.
In 1993, The Americas Center held its First Assembly in New York City. The Asia Pacific Dance Alliance changed its name to Asia Pacific Center to reflect the relationship to the Americas Center.
In 1994, meetings were held to discuss the founding of the Europe Center.
In 1995, the First Summit and General Assembly of the World Dance Alliance was held in Seoul Korea,
July 13-17, and at the conclusion of those meetings a Global Executive Council was established.
In 1996, in February, there was a gathering of dance leaders from all parts of Europe to further discuss the establishment of the Europe Center. In July, The World Dance Alliance Congress was held in Melbourne in conjunction with Green Mill.
In 1997, separate Assemblies will be held by the Americas Center (June in Vancouver), the Asia Pacific Center (August in Hong Kong), and the Europe Center (September in Duesseldorf). The Second General Assembly of the World Dance Alliance Executive Council will be held in Essen, Germany in October.