International Dance Day is observed on 29th April each year and the noted French choreographer and dancer Mourad Merzouki has been chosen as message author by International Theatre Institute of France this year.
Mourad Merzouki's Message on the eve of International Dance Day 2014 stresses the need to promote various dance forms for cultural unity. On the basis his personal experience, Merzouki in his message on the website of ITI says, "I have, for dance, not only the pride of a dancer and choreographer, but profound gratitude. Dance gave me my lucky break. It has become my ethics by virtue of its discipline and provided the means through which I discover the world daily."
Thanking the strength, energy and poetic comfort of dance, he adds, "Thanks to dance, immersed in the beauty and complexity of the world, I have become a citizen. A peculiar citizen who reinvents the social codes in the course of his encounters, remaining true to the values of the hip-hop culture which transforms negative energy into a positive force. I live and breathe dance daily as an honour."
Calling dance as an activity that fuel their lust for life as a cultural gift, he further says in his message, "Culture, more than any discourse, unites. So have courage and take risks despite the obstacles and the hatred with which you will no doubt be confronted; the beauty of the world will always be by your side. Like dance has been for me. With its singular force to eliminate social and ethnic distinctions, leaving but the movement of bodies in their essence, of human beings returning to their pure expression, unique and shared." He urges the modern youth to revive their interest in the local dances by saying, "So try, fail, start all over again but above all, dance, never stop dancing!"
Mourad Merzouki (41) began practicing martial arts and circus arts at the age of seven. By the dint of hard work and dance practice, he rose to the level of being the director of the "Centre chorégraphique de Créteil et du Val de Marne" in France. He continues to develop his projects there, with an accent on openness to the world. In the last 18 years, the choreographer has created 22 productions, and his institution gives on average 150 performances per year around the world.