Happy International Dance Day, everyone! Since 1982, this delightful holiday has been celebrated worldwide each April 29th. Why April 29th, you ask? It's the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727–1810), who's often credited as the creator of modern ballet.
This year, we thought we'd mark the occasion by rounding up some of our favorite stories about world dance. Because we can think of no better occasion to learn more about the beautiful, rich traditions of styles like nihon buyo and bharatanatyam.
(By the way—don't confuse International Dance Day with National Dance Day, which is coming up on September 19th. More days to celebrate dance, hooray!)
David Martinez, courtesy Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia Ballet Folklórico
A dance style with as much complexity, variety, and history as the country of Mexico itself.
Courtesy Yamato Mai
From its origins in traditional forms of theater to modern-day performances, nihon buyo has always been about communicating a clear narrative through an intricate physical language.
David Glasofer, courtesy Sarika Bhattacharjee
Bollywood spectaculars have their origins in classical Indian dance—particularly bharatanatyam, perhaps the most influential of the seven classical forms.
Jack Hartin, courtesy Riverdance
This style's signature fast-flying feet and ramrod-straight posture were made famous by Riverdance, and today you can find Irish step classes at studios across the country.
Javier Fergo, courtesy Jerez Festival