Thursday, April 28, 2016

Schools : It's Intl Dance Day ? Let's Dance !

Sydney Dance Company
credits: Metropolitain Barcelona

make dance
a movement of love
a movement of justice
the light of truth

Lemi Ponifasio, message

On April 29, 2016 International Dance Day, also known as World Dance Day, is celebrated every year through promotion by the International Dance Council (CID). 

The day was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute

The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, who was born in 1727, a French dancer and ballet master and a great reformer of dance.

The annually observed World Dance Day should increase the awareness of the importance of dance among the general public. Its goal is also to persuade governments all over the world to provide a proper place for dance in all systems of education. 

Every year a message from a well known dance personality is circulated throughout the world. 

Lemi Ponifasio
credits: Mau

the Earth is turning
humans in mass migration
turtles gather in silent preparation
the heart is injured (...)

Lemi Ponifasio, message

"Dance shouldn’t be like watching wrestling – it should have opinions"

Lemi Ponifasio

In 2016, ITI organized the celebration of the 34th Anniversary of International Dance Day on April, 29th at Grande Halle La Villette in Paris, honoring one of the most talented dance artists of our time, the talented choreographer Lemi Ponifasio from Samoa and New Zeland

Ponifasio will give a lecture, with MAU, Dance Company of the Shanghai Theatre Academy and Shantala Shivalingappa performing selections from their repertoires.

Lemi Ponifasio is a Samoan choreographer, directeur, designer and artist. In 1995, he founded MAU at Auckland, in New Zealand, company that works with communities and dancers of the worldwilde. En Samoan, MAU means « my destiny ».

Lemi Bonifasio
credits: Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Lemi Ponifasio has been invited by the International Dance Council to be 2016’s International Dance Day message author. 

His missive will be broadcast to the world community in celebration of the power and vision of dance in particular – and the performing arts in general.

Apocalypsis at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in 2015, directed by Lemi Ponifasio. 
Photo: Mau

"Lemi Ponifasio défie les conventions artistiques : images oniriques, cérémonie sacrificielle, espace sonore viscéral, jeu entre lumière et obscurité. 

Le chorégraphe joue ses œuvres dans le monde entier : de l’Académie de Musique de Brooklyn à la Ruhrtriennale en passant par le Southbank de Londres et la Biennale de Venise. 

La première de sa pièce I AM pour le 100e anniversaire de la Première Guerre Mondiale avait eu lieu au Festival d’Avignon en 2014.

I Am/ Lemi Ponifasio/ Festival Avignon 2014
credits:Christophe Raynaud de Lage

Despite being compared to the likes of Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham, Ponifasio doesn’t really see himself as being a representative of the dance world.

"People think what I’m doing is dance so they call me a choreographer, but I don’t really set out to create dance. I never went to dance school and my approach to dance, theatre or any performance is quite different from that of European theatre, where they depict events and characters. What I’m trying to do is to bring the audience into a moment. Somebody else said it was dance, it wasn’t me.”

Lemi Ponifasio

Ponifasio danced alone for most of his 20s and only worked within a company setting when he turned 30. As he found his own voice, he also found unexpected motivation in an activist’s words that “only dead fish flow with the current”.

Credits: New York City Ballet



touch the cosmos
the source of our divinity
the face of the ancestors
so we can see our children

Lemi Ponifasio, message

Beautiful message don't you think? So inspirational to students and teachers on this day!

Dance is a fun and fresh activity to include into School curricula. School curricula without Arts (Music, Dance, Theater) will have very poor curricula. Students will have an incomplete education.
I often debate on this blog the importance of the importance of Arts DanceMusic, Theatre,LiteraturePoetry Painting - in school education

Having a master on Music, I know how enjoyable is my life with my education on Arts, Music and Literature.

For too long, dance has been 'the Cinderella of the arts world' - never invested in to any great or consistent degree. 
World Dance Day is a huge opportunity to raise the level of provision of dance in schools.  

Sometimes young people take part in dance through primary school but by the age of 12-13 most have stopped? Because there is no dance curriculum.
Arts are losing the opportunity to include Dance in their activities extra-school curriculum.
Arts at school education! Having a master on Music that completed may academic education on Linguistics and Literature, I know how enjoyable it is my life with my education on Arts.
"In a world of extraordinary complexity, a premium is placed on one's ability to quickly process massive amounts of wildly varying types of information. Musical instruction helps young people develop the brain capacity to process a lot of information and to organize and present it."

"For me, the key is working with the community and to connect that work with real life, to affect and change what people are doing." 

Lemi Ponifasio
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