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The International Theatre Institute is happy to announce that this year?s International Dance Day Message was written by Israel Galván, Spanish dancer and choreographer who has revolutionised the conception of flamenco shows.


Since its creation in 1982, the International Dance Day celebrated every year on the birthday of the creator of modern ballet Jean-Georges Noverre 29th April, is the occasion to give homage to dance and its universality, crossing all political, cultural and ethnic barriers. 


The International Theatre Institute marks this global occasion each year by inviting an outstanding choreographer or dancer to write a message. This message is translated into more than 20 languages and released throughout the ITI network (more than 70 ITI Centres and numerous Cooperating Members) and dance organisations worldwide. 


On 29 April the International Theatre Institute ITI is holding an event at International Dance Day, on 29 April in Shanghai, in collaboration with the Shanghai Theatre Academy. There will be dance performances from France, Spain and China. The message of Israel Galvan will be read in English and Chinese, and at the end there will be a reception for the Shanghai Dance Community and important guests. On 30 April there will be a conference on international collaboration with experts from France, Spain, Cyprus and China.


Message by Israel Galván:


Carmen Amaya, Valeska Gert, Suzushi Hanayagi, Michael Jackson…I see them as energy-generating turbines and this makes me think about the importance of choreography on that energy of the dancer. The important thing is probably not the choreography, but specifically that energy, the whirlwind which it triggers.


I imagine a Tesla coil attracting them all and emitting a healing ray and causing a metamorphosis in their bodies: Pina Bausch as a praying mantis, Raimund Hoghe converted into a dung beetle, Vicente Escudero into a stick insect and even Bruce Lee into a centipede.


I danced my first duo with my mother, seven months pregnant. It may seem an exaggeration. Although I almost always dance alone, I imagine that I am accompanied by ghosts which make me abandon my role of “dancer of solitudes”. Did Didi-Huberman not mean to say: of soleares songs.


When I was small I didn’t like dance, but it was something that came out of me naturally and easily. Almost instinctively. Over time I realised that dance healed, it had an almost medicinal effect, it helped me to not be so introverted and opened me up to other people. I have seen the image of child ill with ebola being healed through dance. I know it’s a superstition, but might it be possible?

Afterwards, dance ended up becoming an obsession which filled my hours and which makes me dance even when I remain still, immobile, thus separating me from the reality of things. I know this isn’t good, bad or necessary but … that’s the way it is. My daughter Milena, when I’m sitting still on the couch, thinking about my things, with my own murmur, says to me: dad, don’t dance.

And the thing is that I see people moving when walking down the street, when calling a taxi, when moving in their different ways, styles and deformities. They’re all dancing! They don’t know it but they’re all dancing! I would like to shout to them: there are people who still don’t know! We’re all dancing! Those who don’t dance are unlucky, they are dead, they do not feel or suffer!


I like the word fusion, not as a marketing word, a confusion to sell a certain style, a brand. Better fission, an atomic mixture: a cocktail with the feet fixed to the ground of Juan Belmonte, the aerial arms of Isadora Duncan and the half swaying belly of Jeff Cohen in the Goonies. And with all these ingredients to make a pleasant and intense drink, which is delicious or bitter or which goes to your head. Our tradition is also that mixture, we come from a cocktail and the orthodox people want to hide their secret formula. But no, races and religions and political creeds, everything mixes! Everybody can dance together! Maybe not holding onto each other, but by each other’s side.

There is an old Chinese proverb which says: “the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can be felt across the world”. When a fly takes flight in Japan, a typhoon shakes up the water of the Caribbean. Pedro G Romero, after a shattering sevillanas dance says: the same day the bomb fell in Hiroshima, Nijinsky repeated his great leap in a forest in Austria. And I continue imagining: a lash of Savion Glover makes Mikhail Baryshnikov turn. At that moment, Kazuo Ohno stays still and triggers a certain electricity in María Mu?oz, who thinks about Vonrad Veidt and forces Akram Khan to cause an earthquake in his dressing room; they move their rattles and the floor becomes covered with the tired drops of their sweat.


I would like to be able to dedicate this International Dance Day and these words to any person in the world who is dancing just at this moment. But, allow me a joke and a wish: dancers, musicians, producers, critics, schedulers, let’s have a party finale, let’s all dance, as Béjart did, let’s dance in style, let’s dance the “Bolero” by Ravel, let’s dance it together.



Watch a video produced by the Polish ITI Centre:


About Israel Galván: 

Israel Galvá?n de los Reyes was awarded the National Dance Prize 2005, ?Creation? section, by the Culture Department of the Spanish Government, for ?his capacity to generate a new creation in an art such as flamenco without forgetting the real roots that have sustained it to the present day and that make of it a universal genre”. In 2012 he was honored with the New York Bessie Performance Award for an Outstanding Production and the Fine Arts Medal awarded by the Council of Ministers of Spanish Government.


Son of sevillian bailaores Jose Galván and Eugenia de Los Reyes, he naturally grew up within the atmosphere of tablaos, fiestas and flamenco dance academies, where he used to accompany his father. But it was only in 1990 that he really felt like becoming a dancer.

In 1994, he joined the Compa?ía Andaluza de Danza, directed by Mario Maya, and this was the beginning of an unstoppable career that would bring him the most important awards in flamenco (and) dance. He has done many collaborations in projects of very different nature and with very different artists such as Enrique Morente, Manuel Soler, Pat Metheny, Vicente Amigo and Lagartija Nick.


In 1998 Israel premiered ?Mira! / Los Zapatos Rojos, his first creation. Praised by all the critics as a stroke of genius, it was effectively a revolution in the entire conception of flamenco shows.


Since then he has presented productions such as La Metamorfosis, Galvánicas, Arena, La Edad De Oro, Tábula Rasa, Solo, El Final De Este Estado De Cosas – Redux, Israel vs Los 3000, La Curva and Lo Real/Le Réel/The Real, for which he received 3 Premios Max de Teatro (awards) in May 2014: best dance production, best choreography and best dancer. He has also created La Francesa and Pastora for his sister Pastora Galván.

Galván is an Associate Artist of Théâtre de la Ville Paris and Mercat de les Flors Barcelona.




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