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‘Dance needs recognition’

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Macdonald Maluwaya,

Dancers in the country want the country to recognise the International Dance Day that falls on April 29.

Blantyre-based contemporary dancer, Robert Magasa said there is a need for the country to start recognising dance as a form of art and include it in education syllabus.

“Dancing has always been part of us and so, we need to give it the much needed respect. It is a career worth pursuing,” Magasa, who runs dance classes at Kwa Haraba Art Gallery and Café, said.

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“We need to recognise that young people today are into dancing. This is an important art form. We used to have Kajive spearheaded by Times Group which really helped as far as uplifting dance was concerned, now we have nothing on the, ground,” he said.

Macdonald Maluwaya, who has published a book on dances with a focus on one of the country’s traditional dances – Ingoma, said International Dance Day is important and that its significance needs not to be overstated.

“It is a pity though that it is not known by many in Malawi and elsewhere. As such, there is need to popularize this day by organising one big annual event in form of a national dance festival,” Maluwaya said.

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Maluwaya said: “Most importantly, there must be deliberate initiatives to invest in the development and promotion of all art forms through dance education programmes particularly targeting children and the youth for sustainable transmission of our dance heritage.”

The International Dance Day is a global celebration of dance, created by the Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the main partner for the performing arts of Unesco.

The event is held annually on April 29, which is the anniversary of the birth of Jean- Georges Noverre (1727–1810), the creator of modern ballet.

The day strives to encourage participation and education in dance through events and festivals held on the date all over the world. Unesco formally recognise to be the creators and organisers of the event.

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