We are celebrating International Dance Day in classes this week!

What is International Dance Day?

International Dance Day 29 April was founded by the International Theatre Institute in 1982, to simply celebrate all styles of dance.  The date was selected in honour of the birthday of Jean-George Noverre, the creator of modern ballet. This special day gives us the opportunity to bring everyone together through the joy of dance.

The aim of International Dance Day is:

  • To promote dance in all its forms across the world
  • To make people aware of the value of dance in all its forms
  • To enable the dance community to promote their work on a broad scale, so that governments and opinion leaders are aware of the value and importance of dance in all its forms and support it
  • To enjoy dance in all its forms for its own sake
  • To share the joy of dance with others

A little bit about Jean-Georges Noverre: 

Jean-George was born 1727 in Paris, where he studied dance with Louis Dupré and made his stage debut in 1743 at the Paris Opéra-Comique. After dancing and teaching in London, Berlin, and Lyon he returned to Paris to assist the French nobles and his former student and future queen, Marie-Antoinette. She appointed him Ballet Master at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1774, where he stayed until 1781, collaborating with Mozart for Les Petits Riens. 

Jean-Georges followed the path pioneered by dancer Marie Sallé, by breaking convention and surprised the audience by bringing drama, realism, and natural gestures to dance. He stopped using the masks that dancers used to hide facial expressions with and opted for light fabrics for movement. By blending music, costumes, scenery, and choreography, with narrative ballets with captivating plots and powerful characters, it innovated the ballet world. His greatest pride was to have simplified the stories in clothing and demanded action, movements in the scene, and expression in dance. This is now known as ballet “action” or ballet-pantomime, a term given by Noverre.