April 29 really must be a high day for dance enthusiasts, clubs and dance schools. You expect. But no. With few exceptions, no one has even ever heard about it. And special events on that day are hard to find. Yet it does exist, Dance Day.

intdancedayIt was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI / UNESCO).
Around the world this Day (semi-) professional and amateur dancers show off their skills to interest also others in their sport and highlight the universality of this art form. This Day is intended primarily for people who do not dance (yet) and to get them acquainted with this art form.

The dance bridges, according to the committee, all the political, cultural and ethnic barriers and brings people together with a common language: dance. Every year a creditable choreographer or dancer is asked to write a message for this day.

April 29 (1727) is the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (-1810), the innovator and founder of modern ballet. He opposed the ruling (rococo and) baroque trend which hided basic structures with exuberant and lavish ornamentation.

The French dancer and choreographer was as theoretician the founder of expressive dance.
In 1759 he published "Lettres sur la Danse et sur les Ballets', still a standard for choreographers.
He finds the technical feats and the lavishly decorated costumes, flashy wigs and feathers, and high-heeled shoes an infatuation of the essence of the dance.

He calls his new ballet form ‘ballet d'action’ (action ballet) and displays six basic principles for his new expressive dance.

Dance should be seen as an independent art with no accompanying text or explanation needed.

Ballet should be not only about beautiful and intricate steps, but have a meaningful and understandable content, and arouse emotions.

The performance must be a continuous action, and no individual acts as in the earlier court ballets.

Masks (which were an integral part of the dancer costume) give way to mime (facial expression) and pantomime (expression of the entire body).

Not only the soloists, but everyone in the group should play a role in the story.

Dancers should wear custom suits appropriate to the dance and the character.

Those now seemingly logical ideas encountered much resistance, especially in the place where he worked, in the Paris Opera. Therefore he relocated to the French provinces, London, Stuttgart and Vienna.