On the occasion of the 2011 World Dance Day, CID (Conseil International de la Danse) President Alkis Raftis circulated his message on behalf of UNESCO to 150,000 dance professionals in 200 countries. His words focused on the "natural" facets of dance and encouraged the community to break out of the four walls that tend to put boundaries to the practice of dance, and to celebrate this year's World Dance Day in open spaces.
The day is celebrated every year on 29 April. Established and promoted by CID, it aims at attracting attention to the art of dance. It is celebrated by millions of dancers around the globe. Dance companies, dance schools, organisations and individuals, professionals as well as amateurs, organise an activity addressing an audience different from their usual one.
For the greater part of the history of mankind, dance took place outdoors. People would gather in forest glades, village squares, churchyards, or on threshing floors, to enjoy dancing for hours on end. Nowadays, dance mostly takes place in ballrooms, clubs, theatres, school halls, studios and discotheques.
This year we propose making a step back towards nature by celebrating World Dance Day in open spaces: streets, squares, parks, stadiums, beaches, parking lots, clearings - anywhere under the sky.
The urge to dance is a natural impulse; dancers worship nature in their way, connecting with the universe and feeling its juices flow into them.
All through the year we teach dance, we rehearse, we perform within four walls. On this special day dedicated to dance, let us mark the difference by practising, teaching or performing for everyone to see. It might be cold and rainy, the floor is certainly not good enough, and the wind takes the music away, but the beauty in those movements and the joy on those faces will brighten the hearts of the spontaneous audience of passers-by.
Prof Alkis Raftis
President of the International Dance Council CID
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