by Barbara Curda 

August 2001

June 2001. In the Hall no. XII of Palais de l'Unesco in Paris, 108 people from 34 countries assembled. People from Armenia, USA, Norway, Malta, Yugoslavia, Uruguay, UK... They had come to Paris, sometimes taking the trouble of long-distance journey, in order to discuss... Dance! 

The CID (or IDC, International Dance Council) is an international umbrella organisation for dance. Created in 1973 with the support of Unesco, it got official recognition in 1975. Working within Unesco-guidelines, it emphasizes cultural diversity, and aims at being representative of ALL FORMS OF DANCE IN ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD. So, for the CID, 34 countries assembled (3 countries could not come because of visa problem) was below target. 

About 50 papers were contributed to the congress on the theme of situation of dance in the world, which were published in a CD-Rom. During the proceedings, the authors made short comments about their papers. 

Rina Lazar emphasised on the great diversity of folk dances in the 50 year old country Israel, which has been accommodating immigrants from all over the world. Tanya Bayona reported about the remarkable spread of dance culture on the small Mediterranean island Malta. Mirka Psaropoulou from Greece reminded us about the South European origins of classical ballet. Mary Elisabeth Phillips made us aware of difficulties of inter-cultural understanding on the example of African dance in UK... Marianna Ivanescu from Romania pointed at the difficulties of adjustment to a new market economy after the collapse of communism and the impact this has on dance. Aja Yung from Yugoslavia reminded us of the destructive influence of war on dance in her country. 

We heard about ballet, folk dances from varied countries, belly dance in Germany, ball dance in France, Indian dance in Switzerland, the importance of dance research in the field of dance activity, dance in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Japan... 

There was a single paper from India, presented by me on the situation of Odissi dancing in Orissa. In fact, to highlight the situation of dancing on the Indian sub-continent, many more papers would have been required... The presence of CID-members from India was positively felt: Dr. Sunil Kothari, Jayachandran Palazhy, Artistic Director of ATTAKKALARI in Bangalore, Ranjeet Singh, Secretary of Folk Dance Cultural Society... Yet, in regard to India's immense cultural variety, one would have expected India to be better represented. This was felt by the CID Executive Committee as well. The organisation would welcome dancers, dance organisations & dance researchers to take part in its activities. 

CID-activities include: 
- creation of a World Dance Directory, which aims at listing all dancers, dance researchers, dance organisations in the world. 
- creating a flow of information and therefore facilitating interaction between dancers in the world. 
- encourage celebration of International Dance Day on 29th of April every year. 
- Contribute to congresses, conferences, exhibitions... 
- work within themes of Unesco: women, underprivileged children, Afrika, artistic education, preservation of the cultural heritage... 

Countries, which have set up a National Committee, can propose projects to the CID within the Unesco themes. Such a committee is being set up once a country has a good number of CID-members. In case of India, the first step is towards improving the membership. 

For all those who would like more information: 

For questions, questions about inclusion into World Dance Directory,  or about membership: , 

Note: The CID held the congress on DANCE IN THE WORLD TODAY together with its General Assembly in Paris on 27-29 June 2001.