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A big dance step

May 18, 2012—

More than 1000 participants from the Lebanese and international dance community gathered at LAU Byblos for the second annual International Dance Day Festival, held April 23-28.

With workshops and lectures as well as dance performances, the weeklong festival brought together dance lovers of all ages.

“We had four- to 60-year-old participants,” says Dr. Nadra Assaf, lecturer of English and dance, who organized the event.

Launched in 2011, the IDDF in Lebanon is committed to serving the needs of dancers, choreographers and professionals in dance-related fields in Lebanon and the region.

“Essentially, our goal is to see the Lebanese dance field grow, and expand its roots nationally and internationally,” says Assaf. “In order for us to fulfill that dream, Lebanese dancers need more international connections and educational opportunities, as well as stronger connections and ties to each other locally,” she adds.

Over the course of the week some sixty-four workshops were conducted, all free of charge. The styles of dance included hip-hop, jazz, break dancing, belly dance, rhumba and salsa.

“Lebanon and the region need support for the arts, specifically in the field of arts education. We are an educational institution, so it only seems right that we be the leaders in filling this need,” says Assaf.

The IDDF in Lebanon is supported by LAU’s School of Arts and Sciences and is organized in partnership with the municipality of Byblos.

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Young and younger participants learn new moves in a belly dance workshop.

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Rain Ross, assistant professor of dance from Richard Stockton College, a modern dance specialist performs during the closing ceremony.

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Catherine Cabeen, contemporary dance specialist and Kane Mathis, a leading interpreter of Ottoman classical music during On Dance and Oud performance.

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Nanou Coranson a French jazz specialist leads young performers.

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An enthusiastic crowd.

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