There is great wisdom inherent in traditional dances and music that have been passed down from generation to generation for ages.
Yet, with the rapid changes taking place in world cultures, hundreds of longstanding, traditional dances and the music that goes along with them, connected with specific ways of life, are now in danger of extinction.
I was born in an ancient village in Southwestern Spain. Dancing and singing was part of our daily lives. We danced for many celebrations passed down from immemorial times from before the Roman Empire.
Often, we also sang and danced for no special reason at all. During the long winter nights neighbors would gather together to sing and dance around the fire place.
As a child, without even having to think about it, I absorbed profound lessons about life transmitted in the lyrics of the songs and I learned how to generate life force in my body by the power of the dance.
The first big change in our traditional way of life happened when TV came in. We were all fascinated -almost hypnotized- by this magical box. Then, we all just watched TV and we did not gather to dance and sing any longer.
When I visit the village now, most grandmothers have passed away, and most young people not even remember the traditional songs and dances anymore.
Aware that this same thing is happening all over the world, in 1994 I created Dances of the World Society (DWS), to collaborate with organizations and individuals that are also passionate about saving dance and music traditions in danger of extinction and the wisdom inherent in them.
One of the ways we save dances and music in danger of extinction at DWS is by producing documentaries and educational materials. We place special emphasis on documenting these traditions in their natural environment, and preserving them on film. Along with the spirit of the times, we believe in using the power of emerging technologies to preserve the primordial intelligence of world dance and music. An important aspect of our mission is to develop Interactive Video Archives.
Visit our Video Archives to enjoy watching world dance and music clips, adding your rates and comments. You can also upload as many video clips as you like. All you need to do is copy the urls from your favorite youtube.com or videos-sharing sites, for instance, and summit them. Our interactive system will allow you to create groups around specific dance/music interest and connect with like-minded people around the world.
We hope you will enjoy the series of podcasts we are creating. Some of them will be free audio-courses, some will be fascinating interviews. Please use the contact form to let us know what topics you are interested in. If you are an expert in your field, we would love to interview you. Get in touch
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You can also enjoy our Online School where you can learn at your own pace in the comfort of your home.
An important way in which we save traditional dances and music is by producing and presenting live performances that honor them. We want to contribute to revitalizing these traditions and give a voice to those who make them come alive. We know the power of the Performing Arts to bridge cultures and foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity. If you are a presenter, please contact us so we can email you the password to access the presenter’s area.
Whether you are one of our Members, Volunteers, Supporters, Benefactors or you just like to come over and enjoy our free resources, we would love to hear from you and get to know you.
Please fill out the contact form and let us know who you are, what you would like to see offered on this site, and how could we meet your dancing and music needs.
By interacting and spreading the word, you are making an important contribution to preserving the important legacy of world music and dance for generations to come.
Founder and Artistic Director, Dances of the World Society