Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Message (International Dance Day)

In 1982 the International Dance Comittee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), a UNESCO partner NGO, has chosen April 29th as International Dance Day to be celebrated worldwide. This is Jean-Georges Noverre's birthday (1727-1810). As is known, he is considered the father of Romantic ballet. Every year an important choreographer is called to give a message to the international community. This year Flemish-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has been asked to deliver the message (clik here to read it).

It is a significant message that gives numerous stimuli. First of all, he relates dance with its past, even though it is an art rooted in the present. Second, he exalts dance with a too dance-centred approach, "dance does not have limits with other arts". This is a necessary vision, if we think of the reiterated disadvantage dance has with respect to other arts such as opera or music, especially in Italy, but it is perhaps not entirely correct. Maybe he refers to contemporary dance where frontiers between space and body are often altered, but in other styles and techniques this crossing is not always possible.

Furthermore, in the third paragraph he underlines the honesty in the act of dancing. In this sense, he recalls Martha Graham's famous affermation, "movement never lies", a questionable one as movement can indeed lie. Graham, and, in a smaller measure Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, place, in this way, the art of dancing in a dangerous pre-verbal dimension which puts it more in relation with nature than with culture and that ricks to essentialise it.

Apart from this, Cherkaoui's message has a great impact, mainly for what concerns the ability to dance as ap recious instrument of communication and connection. This works particularly well in today's world, a world which is highly interconnected both for what concerns virtual reality and actual reality, "by moving like other people, by moving with other people and by watching them move, we can best feel their emotions, think their thoughts and connect to their energy. It is, perhaps, then that we can get to know and understand them clearly."

In the final paragraph, he even defines dance as "a celebration of co-existence, a way to give and make space and time for each other," a kind of powerful sharing experience that everybody should experiment.

No comments:

Post a Comment