Quebec Messages for International Dance Day
International Dance Day (IDD) was created in 1982 by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute, which is affiliated with UNESCO. It is celebrated on April 29 in tribute to eminent choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), who was born in the same day. Mr. Noverre was credited with enacting major reforms in the production of ballets. Like the international message delivered each year on this day, the Quebec message produced by the Regroupement québécois de la danse aims to celebrate dance, highlight the universal nature of this artistic form, overcome political and cultural barriers, and unify people around the shared language of dance.
IDD Quebec messages over time…
2021 – Aïcha Bastien-N’Diaye
At the invitation of the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD), the artist Aïcha Bastien-N’Diaye delivers a message of hope for International Dance Day. After a year-long pandemic that has affected the lives of all Quebecers, and that has hit the arts and culture sector particularly hard, her sensitive and determined message reminds us to what extent dance is an accessible artform that brings people together and effects change. Read more
2020 – Janie Richard and Márcio Vinícius Paulino Silveira
At the invitation of the Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD), Janie Richard and Márcio Vinícius Paulino Silveira have delivered a unifying message for International Dance Day 2020. Adapting to physical distancing measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the duo – winners of Season 2 of the show Révolution – invited numerous artists and dance lovers to contribute to a video in which each participant dances from the confines of their home in an effort to connect with others. Read more
2019 – Louise Lecavalier
At the request of the RQD,Louise Lecavalier brings us a galvanizing and poetic message for International Dance Day. One of the groundbreaking figures of contemporary dance, she pours forth a cascade of words in a video which blends her image with a diverse array of bodies, an effect made possible by interactive digital technologies and artificial intelligence. An unvarnished panegyric to the art of dance and its universal appeal, produced in collaboration with the team of renowned director Vincent Morisset and fifteen talented Québec performers. Read more
2018 – Mélanie Demers
Whether we completely abandon ourselves to it or attempt to resist it, we’re all part of the world’s great movement. Ineluctably, this complex system, beyond all comprehension, observes the human ballet, where bodies, by turns, conquer and beguile the other, stoop, touch, kill, and slip away, and where they love, mesh and coalesce before succumbing to exhaustion and one day dying out. Read more of the message
2017 – Andrew Tay
I see dance as a community builder. In fact, I see it creating communities. People come together through dance to embody their specific needs and values. In rehearsals, at the nightclub, on the street, at the community centre, friends and alliances are formed on the dancefloor that carry through into everyday life. Read more of the message
2016 – Francine Châteauvert
Movement is the secret of centenarians.
As a child, I ran from the house to the barn, from the school bus to the house. To get anywhere I always ran, jumping over or crawling under fences. My body in movement gave me this sublime feeling of freedom, the physical effort invariably filling me with joy. I was naturally agile with my body, in all kinds of games and sports. This attraction to movement and the need for bodily expression were powerful—and unexpected—calls to the profession of dancer and choreographer. Read more of the message
2015 – Harold Rhéaume
At my house, we didn’t dance. It wasn’t part of our lifestyle. My first images of dance came from musicals that I watched on TV as a child, after coming home from school. The first two men I ever saw dance were Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. I remember the impact it had on me. I couldn’t believe that so much emotion could be expressed by simply dancing. To be powerful, agile, funny, smooth, rhythmical, sensual, athletic, touching, exciting: all that by simply moving one’s body! It’s absolutely crazy, when you think about it. But that’s what dance is all about. Crazy, inexplicable and accessible to all. Read more of the message
2014 – Anne Plamondon
When the Regroupement québécois de la danse suggested I write Quebec’s message for the 32nd anniversary of International Dance Day, I accepted without hesitation. I was then seized by worry and doubt—a sort of inner conflict and dilemma. Which part of me as a female artist—the performer, choreographer, teacher, artistic director, mother and spouse—could best talk about dance? The answer was clearly the dancer. For as long as I can remember, the dancer has been with me. She has captured my heart and soul, directed my steps and influenced my decisions, passions and loves. Read more of the message
2013 – Paul-André Fortier
Creators use their identity to make art, weaving works from the deep fibres of their being. Artists share a part of themselves.
Dance is a mode of expression that moves beyond language, borders and cultures. It is an invaluable vehicle for exchange.
Dance is an intense celebration of the body and breath. It is an art of jubilation and all that is ephemeral. Allowing every freedom, it is a true ritual to celebrate life.
Dance is a pure act of metaphor and metamorphosis. It brings out the divine in each of us, allowing us to speak with the gods and shout at the devil. Dance is an art that allows human beings, in the words of Valéry, to “express perfect thoughts.” Read more of the message