U.N.E.S.C.O has chosen Samoan and New Zealand choreographer and multi-disciplinary artist, Lemi Ponifasio, as the author of this year’s International Dance Day message.
Lemi Ponifasio will be honoured at the International Dance Day ceremony at La Villette Theatre in Paris on Friday 29 April, 2016 where he will give his message and a performance by his company MAU.
Lemi Ponifasio joins dance luminaries Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, Maurice Bejart, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in a list of choreographers who have been invited to give the dance message each year since 1982.
The message is distributed by U.N.E.S.C.O throughout the world.
At the frontier of global contemporary art, theatre and dance, Auckland-based Lemi Ponifasio has received international awards as a choreographer, designer, opera director, and for his theatre and dance works.
“My message is a prayer and it carries within it the aims of my work, and wairua of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific,” says Lemi Ponifasio.
Established in 1982, International Dance Day is promoted by the International Dance Council (CID) and is aimed at attracting attention to the art of dance.
The official message for International Dance Day is sent to over 100,000 dance professionals in 200 countries and is translated into dozens of languages.
Day Message 2016
touch the cosmos
the source of our divinity
the face of the ancestors
so we can see our children
unite all within
our flesh and bones
the Earth is turning
humans in mass migration
turtles gather in silent preparation
the heart is injured
a movement of love
a movement of justice
the light of truth
- Lemi Ponifasio