Québec Message for International Dance Day by 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.
A performer, choreographer, and teacher hailing from Wendake, Quebec, the artist Aïcha Bastien-N’Diaye combines tradition and modernity, physicality and expressivity in a wide variety of dance genres. Drawing on a wealth of cultures, practices and aesthetics, this young artist embodies the spirit of Quebec’s current dance scene, open to the world and to others.
Her enthusiasm and commitment come out in this video that was filmed at iconic locations in Quebec City, Wendake, and their surrounding areas, bringing together nature and the city in a message shot through with authenticity.
Québec Message for International Dance Day 2021
By Aïcha Bastien-N’Diaye
Because it is essential. Always has been.
Dance is good for us. It is a timeless remedy against aches and wounds. A living art that brings joy to young and old alike. A universal language, both authentic and powerful.
Dance holds the power to galvanize a village around a single rhythm, inspire a world to unite rather than divide, and feed the soul of a whole community. It is practiced for sheer pleasure, or it can be a career. Dance makes sure movement never ceases.
Dance for oneself
In a kitchen, in a studio, in the street. Move, bounce, turn, fall, get back up, improvise, shake until the bad comes out. Until the body expresses itself instinctively.
Let’s inspire each other. No barrier, no frontier, no comparison nor judgement. Let’s generate more movement, more education, more tolerance. More support for our artists, our teachers, our allies, our organizations. Let’s gather in the movement, in the possible, in the creation of the possible. In the “yes!”
Yes, dance is a sport.
Yes, dance is an art.
Yes, dance is cool.
Yes, dance is a career path.
Yes, things must change.
Yes, things will move forward.
Yes, you too can dance.
Yes, dance is a tool to social change.
We need dance now more than ever. Every occasion is a good one. To create, share, support, celebrate dance.
Let’s dance to claim the richness and importance of dance, here, in Quebec. Our home.
Because more moments like this one will come, where language and words won’t be enough to state that…
We will dance.
A member of the Huron-Wendat nation, Aïcha’s introduction to artistic movement came through the traditional dances of Guinea while she was growing up in the community of Wendake. Instinctively creating a seamless blend between two strong cultures, she was inspired by her enthusiasm for dance’s physical and expressive qualities to pursue professional training at the École de danse de Québec. Since then, she has lived in Quebec City, where she is an active participant in the arts scene. By building connections between different dance styles, she has created a choreographic style that nullifies borders and stereotypes. A dance artist, content producer, activist, and word lover, Aïcha views art as a proactive way to spark change and reflection.