The official message for Dance Day
29 April 2021
80 years ago, Europe around 1941: a great part of Europe is occupied, curfew is imposed, radio is forbidden, sometimes no electricity. Families stay long evening hours at home with nothing to do, under conditions leading to depression and nervous breakdown – they get desperate.
Grandparents come to the rescue – their memories go back to the time when people could produce their own enjoyment, when they did not depend on TV, on dining out, going to the cinema or attending events. They had active, not passive entertainment. Younger ones had lost the ability to take pleasure in relating stories, telling jokes, singing and dancing at home in good company.
The aged people became the soul of the party singing the old songs, dancing the dances and taking the whole family with them, plus the neighbors. This is how the half-forgotten songs and dances jumped one generation and survived, producing after the War a revival of folk dancing.
As dance professionals, think of your role in the present situation of pandemic, lockdown and curfew. People need you now and will need you after this crisis. You produce a vaccine against the virus of the soul: you know how to make people dance. You hear the call, answer it!
President of the International Dance Council
CID, UNESCO, Paris