International Dance Day
Each year, the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) along with its member service organizations (which includes Dance NS), asks a someone from the Canadian dance scene to deliver a message to Canada for International Dance Day (IDD), which takes place on April 29th each year.
This year's message comes from Roger Sinha of Sinha Danse.
Roger was born in England to an Armenian mother and an Indian father, and later moved at the age of eight to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After graduating from Toronto Dance Theatre, he settled in Montreal and quickly became involved in several collaborations within the blossoming local artistic community. In 1991, he formed his company Sinha Danse and began developing his distinct choreographic language based on an intermingling of his Indian background and Canadian culture. This unique fusion of influences has given birth to hybrid choreographies that are unquestionably distinctive.
In 2016, he won the Cultural Diversity Prize in Dance, given with a $ 10,000 bursary, presented by the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Prix de la danse de Montréal. Roger Sinha's works often reflect issues of diversity, and the CAM's jury recognized his exceptional contribution to the development of the discipline, the originality of his approach, and his steadfast commitment to fellow artists and citizens.
"Dance is what sets us apart and what brings us together. Individually, our unique voice is the authenticity that our bodies can express. Nobody in this entire world, the billions of people, walks the way you walk. Walking is just one expression of movement; there is also falling, jumping, skipping, running, shaking, turning and turning and turning until you spin. I spin my way; you spin yours. It’s who I am and it’s who you are. My individuality, the seeking of my own uniqueness, moulds the themes of my work: Indian, Armenian, Canadian, Québecois, male.
So mould yourself; spin your own tale. Then come together. Dance is the great unifier and so we need it now, as our world seems to be embracing that which sets us apart.
The other is another and he is not my brother.
NO, I say! dance together brothers and sisters.
The more we can celebrate diversity, the more we can be accepting of others."
~ Roger Sinha
Canada's National Dance Week, built around UNESCO's International Dance Day, will be taking place this year from April 22nd until the 29th. During this week communities across the country will be participating in an array of dance-related events promoting not only the importance of creative expression, but also the strengthening of community bonds. As shown in a recent New England Journal of Medicine study, dance, more than any other physical activity, contributes largely to brain health and function as well as physical wellness. It also provides a host of other benefits to the individual and community such as social cohesion, creative economy and empowerment of youth. Dance week presents the opportunity to celebrate the many ways in which dance contributes to human existence and reminds us of the significant role it plays within our history and culture.