International Choreographers Day Date in the current year: January 9, 2024

International Choreographers Day International Choreographers Day is observed annually on January 9. It was created to celebrate the people who are an essential part of the teams behind various stage performances, music videos, movies and television shows, and even sports routines.

Dance is one of the oldest forms of art known to humanity. Early dance was used as a tool of bonding and social communications, a method of expression, and a part of religious ceremonies, rituals, and celebrations. As it developed, dance became a form of social entertainment and eventually a recognized art form performed by professional dancers.

The word choreography can be literally translated from Greek as “dance-writing”. Although the word choreographer is relatively new (it wasn’t included into American English dictionaries until the 1950s), the history of choreography can be traced back to the Italian Renaissance. The first choreographers were dance masters who developed social dances.

As theatrical dance performances became separated from social dance, the profession of a ballet master emerged. Today, ballet masters and mistresses are primarily responsible for conducting ballet rehearsals, but back in the day, a ballet master acted as chief choreographer and artistic director of a ballet company. Famous early ballet masters included Pierre Beauchamp, Jean-Baptiste Landé, Jean-Georges Noverre, and Louis Gallodier.

The development of modern dance in the late 19th century led to the appearance of a new cohort of choreographers who pioneered new styles of choreography. The word choreographer was used for the first time in 1936 to credit George Balanchin for his work in the Broadway show On Your Toes, but, as we’ve already mentioned above, it didn’t make its way into dictionaries and common use until the mid-20th century.

Although choreography is primarily associated with dance performances, it is used in many other fields including theater, opera, cinematography, show choir, fashion shows, cheerleading, marching band, and even sports (figure skating, gymnastics, synchronized swimming). Unfortunately, choreographers don’t always get the credit they deserve because many people don’t realize how much effort goes into choreographing a dance routine, Broadway show, or a sword fighting scene in a movie.

The history of International Choreographers Day is unclear, but there is no doubt that choreographers deserve to be celebrated. You can observe the holiday by learning more about what exactly choreographers do and why they are so important, reading a book or watching a documentary / biographical film or series about a famous choreographer (we recommend checking out Fosse/Verdon), watching your favorite stage or screen performances and paying close attention to their choreography, etc.

If you’re a performer, you probably already know why the work of choreographers is so important. Celebrate International Choreographers Day by reaching out to the choreographers you know and thanking them for their creativity, patience, and dedication. And don’t forget to give them a shout-out on social media with the hashtag #InternationalChoreographersDay to let the world know about the holiday!

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International Observances, Professional Days


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