Thousands of dancers from countries across the world took part in a simultaneous dance routine on Friday, choreographed by Akram Khan. The Big Dance Pledge launched biennial festival Big Dance, and was designed to get more people involved with dance as an art form. 2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of the festival, which runs from 20 May to 10 September.
Over 42,000 people took part across 44 countries at either 13:00 or 19:00 local time. Khan’s piece featured music by Nitin Sawhney, and was inspired by themes of ‘overcoming adversity’ and ‘achievement.’
‘What’s really inspiring is to make something where people in every part of the globe are sharing a common language. That’s so important, because we have more and more walls, invisible walls being built around us,’ said Khan.
The routine was accompanied by free online teaching resources. The 2-5 hour sessions were based on methods used by Khan’s own company, and the dance routine itself lasted three minutes.
After the event Khan took to Twitter to thank participants: ‘What an exceptional #BigDance day! Thank you for the beauty of your dance, your enthusiasm, creativity and smiles.’
This year’s festival includes a Big Dance Bus, which will tour the UK throughout the festival and features a pop-up ballroom, as well as a Big Dance Week from 2-10 July. Five hub organisations are organising events across London, including East London Dance, English National Ballet, Siobhan Davies Dance, Sadler’s Wells and Greenwich Dance.