The NCCA-National Committee on Dance (NCD) has been spearheading the celebration of the International Dance Day (IDD) through the Dance Xchange (DX): The Philippine International Dance Festival since 2009 until 2019. Over the years, Dance Xchange has been hosted by Provinces of Negros Oriental, Capiz, Palawan, Isabela, City of Dumaguete, Cebu, and Manila   

The IDD celebration aims to help the dance community promote its work on a larger scale, raising awareness of the importance of dance; promoting dance in all genres from the different parts of the country; enjoying dance and sharing its meaning with others; and strengthening the network among dance groups from the different regions of the Philippines and foreign dance groups.   

The IDD as a component of DX 2022 will be held on April 24, 2022, at 6:00 PM at the Metropolitan Theater, Manila. This is one of the first initiatives in bringing together live performance dance groups of varied dance genres performing in a concert after 2 years of being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

We all know that DX and the celebration of the IDD continued on as the National NCD headed by innovative and creative chairman, Ms. Shirley Halili Cruz, organized DX on Air with more than 300 dance groups participating. She organized and directed more than 30 DX on Air dance concerts. 

The Philippine dance community positively responded to the project as these offered opportunities to continue dance productions. One important lesson from the 2 years of virtual dance concerts is the discovery of many outstanding dance groups from the different parts of the country that emerged. 

Following the inspiring successes of DX on Air 2020 and 2021, the NCD is pushing for this live dance concert with a live audience. While there remain some kind of hesitations in a face-to-face performance, it is important that we attempt this to provide continued hope of moving forward. 

The International Theatre Institute established the IDD in 1982, celebrated every April 29th, to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges No¬verre (1727-1810), the founder of contemporary ballet. 

The celebration is intended to create conditions for dialogue and cooperation within the world dance community, and to promote dance art and reinforce its cultural and political position on the national and international levels. 

Solidarity with the international dance community is the spirit that the NCCA-NCD brings into this event. Confident that the celebration will gain strong support from the dance community, the local government units, educational institutions and dance enthusiasts. 

The messages from the IDD celebrations through the years have encouraged the NCD to hold grand events which will place the Philippines in the map of all international dance day celebrations. This year’s IDD Message is by South Korean dancer Kang Sue-Jin and she says: 

“The Covid-19 catastrophe has stopped life as we so freely knew it and being amidst this tragedy makes us rethink the meaning of ‘dance’ and ‘dancer.’ In the distant past, dance was a primal means of expression and communication through gestures, becoming performance art that moved the soul and inspired the audience. 

It is a momentary art that is difficult to restore to its original form once completed because it’s created with the entire body and soul. Dance is made of ephemeral moments, which destines dancers to be on the move forever. Yet, Covid-19 has restricted and even blocked the art of dance in its original form. 

Even though the situation is improving, dance performances are still subject to many restrictions. This makes us cherish the precious memories of times when dance and dancers sparkled like jewels, conveying human anguish and anxiety, will and hope for life, and illuminated the world. 

The lonely and weary audience is thirsty for the sympathy and comfort of the dancers. As dancers, we believe that the flapping of our wings gives hope to the hearts of those who love the art of dance and gives them the courage to overcome this pandemic.”   

Ms. Shirley Halili Cruz, the Festival Director of the IDD concert believes that this event will ignite excitement and renewed enthusiasm, ushering the sector into the new normal.

Let us then begin the Dance!