Creatives, artists, supporters and lovers of dance gathered in honour of International Dance Day under the theme, “United through Dance” during the Active City Development Walk and Yoga for Life program on May 1st. The celebrations began with a Zumba class led by instructors from Ekere Fitness Dance Studio. An array of dance and other performing arts styles including Classical Indian Dance, Modern Jive, Salsa, Jazz, PNG Traditional-Contemporary Fusion, Hip Hop, Acro-dance and Circus was performed at Ela Beach for this event.
International Dance Day honours the diversity and inclusiveness of dance as a cultural legacy in Papua New Guinea and around the world. NCD Governor, Hon. Powes Parkop gave the opening remarks during the program at Ela Beach. He encouraged unity among city residents and stated, “When we dance we are neither Sepik, Simbu, Hagen, Manus or Tolai. When we dance together it brings unity. Dance is an activity that brings everyone together.”
NCD Governor, Hon. Powes Parkop encouraged city residents to consider dance as a tool for social change. He stated, “In a traditional way, dance tells the story of our heritage, our journey and our future. In a modern way dance breaks down barriers. This is the significance of dance. Politics can divide people. But dance can bring us together.”
Mr. George Tau, a pioneer in the Hip Hop and Bboy dance movement in Papua New Guinea spoke on the development of the youth through dance as an art form in the 90’s and early 2000’s and how this laid the foundation for much of the urban dance that we see in Port Moresby today.
Ms. Meriba-May Igara, a lawyer and the Creative Director/Choreographer of Bilas PNG Performing Arts Group was the keynote speaker during this event. She shared her journey through dance and provided encouragement for those who wish to peruse dance as a vocation. She stated, “Even though I became a lawyer, dance has always been my passion. So if you have a dream to dance, follow that dream.”
In addition to promoting diversity, talent, cultural heritage and legacy, International Dance Day encourages people, regardless of age, gender or ability to dance for health and wellbeing. The event concluded with a participatory community dance that was created especially for International Dance Day by the ACDP team.