International Dance Day is a global celebration of dance, organised by UNESCO every year on 29th April, the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), the creator of modern ballet. The day aims to encourage participation and education in dance through events and festivals held on the date all over the world. Here in Penang, the event will be celebrated on May 1st with a full day of dance classes, and an evening performance.

The event is being coordinated by Aida Redza, who is the administrator of PEARL (Penang Arts Link), and the Artistic Director of Penang Modern Dance Ensemble (Euphoria) and of the Artist Collective of Ombak-Ombak ArtStudio, and involves all the leading Dance and Performing Art groups in Penang. The theme of the event this year, she explains, is  “Dance To Embrace”, and its aim is “to bring dance culture back to the community especially to motivate the youth, and to mobilize the art of dance as means to promote harmony and unity, as they dance to embrace our differences and similarities.” In the annual Penang Dance Day, which has been running since 2010, “emphasis is also given to addressing a “new” public, people who do not follow dance events during the course of the year. The intention is to celebrate Dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance”, she says.

With that in mind, a full day of dance classes has been planned at penangpac, in Straits Quay, from 12.30pm until 7.30pm, running the full spectrum of dance, from ballet, through swing, hip-hop, inner dance and many others. The timetable is below and you are encouraged to sign up via The cost is RM 10 per participant per class.

The classes will be followed by an evening performance, ‘Dance To Embrace’  from 8pm until 10pm, also at penangpac. The evening performance will offer an overview of the many dance studios and organisations active in Penang, with works by Jet Leang of JLDT, Ng Kai Beng and Tracie Chan of K&T Dance Academy, Sean Loh of Yi-Concept, MyDance Station, Albert Chuah of Moving Force Crew together with dancers of Euphoria Penang, Nato of Emperaja Dance Troupe, Izzard and Hil of KakiTari Performance Troupe, Sam of Freshbeat, Nathalynn and Ashlynn Lim of Derecho and featuring works by dancers of Euphoria Penang Modern Dance Ensemble led by Goh Chun Kheng with Anthony Fong, and Michelle Cheah with Flora Foong and Joyce. You can buy tickets, which cost RM 35, at the penangpac box office or at

More information can be found at