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Celebrating 21 Years Of International Dance Day In Wellington

IDD- WI Dance. Photo Garside Imaging

YouthDance Education Trust (YET) will be celebrating 21 years with their annual International Dance Day (IDD) event at Te Papa in May.

On May 2 Te Papa will be buzzing with dance activity to commemorate UNESCO’s International Dance Day, which aims to bring communities together through the common language of dance. For the past 21 years YET have been curating a diverse programme of free dance workshops and performances for the Wellington community to engage with and participate in.

From 10.20am to 4pm the public are welcome to come and experience dance from all around the world. The line-up includes performances by Wellington Batucada, Mudra Dance Company, Lublin Dance Company, Tautua Dance; and family friendly workshops ranging from Madagascan dance to a Scottish ceilidh, Spanish Flamenco to swing dance and much more.

Last year COVID-19 lockdown restricted our ability to physically connect with those outside our bubbles, but the International Dance Day festival went ahead with online workshops that provided an opportunity for people to participate and connect with one another from home. We know the physical, social and emotional wellbeing that comes through dance was needed more than ever at this time. In addition to hosting a free day of dance workshops for the general public, we curated a programme of dance films by emerging dance film makers.

International Dance Day Coordinator Elizabeth Isaacs say: “In the last decade the Trusts’ emphasis has been on representing not only a diversity of dance styles but also reflecting Wellington’s cultural diversity. The opportunity to participate in dance has historically been within social and cultural circles, often behind closed doors in studios, or at events focused on a particular style of dance. International Dance Day brings dance out into the public arena where it truly is for everybody to join in, to share, to feel welcome, to express themselves through movement.”

The last Festival in 2019 saw over 1,500 people through Te Papa’s doors participating in a diverse range of dance workshops and performances. To celebrate their 21st YouthDance Education Trust are encouraging everyone to come along and share in the joy of dance. IDD performer and regular tutor, Lala Simpson says, “Dancing together as a community is a very powerful way to remind us that we are all part of each other, and we are not that different after all. That creating something beautiful together is a real privilege.”

YET is a group of local volunteers who have been producing this free community event since 2000. Their mission is to bring together the culturally and creatively diverse Wellington community to share, learn and celebrate in dance.

International Dance Day

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