Sunday, April 28, 2013

International Dance Day 2013: Message from Lin Hwai-min

Lin Hwai-min (photo ©LIU Chen-hsiang)
It is said in the Great Preface of "The Book of Songs,"
an anthology of Chinese poems dating from the 10th to the 7th century BC:

"The emotions are stirred and take form in words.

If words are not enough, we speak in sighs.
If sighs are not enough, we sing them.
If singing is not enough, then unconsciously
our hands dance them and our feet tap them."

Dance is a powerful expression. 

It speaks to earth and heaven.
It speaks of our joy, our fear and our wishes.
Dance speaks of the intangible, yet reveals the state of mind of a person and 
the temperaments and characters of a people.

Like many cultures in the world, the indigenous people in Taiwan dance in circle. 

Their ancestors believed that evils would be kept out of the circle. 
With hands linked, they share the warmth of each other and move in communal pulses. 
Dance brings people together. 

And dance happens at the vanishing point.

Movements disappear as they occur. 
Dance exists only in that fleeting instant. 
It is precious. It is a metaphor of life itself.

In this digital age, images of movements take millions of forms. 

They are fascinating.
But, they can never replace dance because images do not breathe. 
Dance is a celebration of life.

Come, turn off your television, switch off your computer, and come to dance. 

Express yourself through that divine and dignified instrument, which is our body.
Come to dance and join people in the waves of pulses. 
Seize that precious and fleeting moment.
Come to celebrate life with dance.

Lin Hwai-min,
Artistic Director, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and Cloud Gate 2

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) is pleased to announce that the celebration of International Dance Day 2013 will take place Monday April 29th, 2013 at Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, starting at 8 pm. The Taiwanese choregrapher Lin Hwai-min, author of this year's message, and his company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taïwan are the guests of the 2013 edition of International Dance Day. They will perform extracts from their works at the occasion. In 1982 the Dance Committee of the ITI founded International Dance Day to be celebrated every year on 29 April, anniversary of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet. The intention of the International Dance Day Message is to celebrate Dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance.
Every year, a prominent choregrapher and/or dancer is selected to write a message about Dance and its importance in our societies. Translated in more than twenty languages, the message is circulated through the ITI network (more than 90 national Centres and cooperating members) and performing arts organizations, starting from April. Time magazine talks of Lin Hwai-min as one of "Asia's heroes". Founder of the companies  Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taïwan and Cloud Gate 2, the choregrapher's work has been internationaly acclaimed.

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