Performers from the West Virginia Highland Dancers, Davis & Elkins College’s Appalachian Ensemble, and the Spirit Wing Dance Ensemble shared their love of dance on film.  

Dancing Joy: a Film of World Peace is a documentary feature film showcasing international traditional dance. The cultural dance documentary is an idea more than a decade in the making.  Producer Kate Tsubata shared her vision for the film.

“We want to make a movie that shows how humanity could actually be with each other and experience joy and see the greatness of each other and celebrate our differences and also be able to see the common things we share,” said Tsubata.

The dance groups spent the day filming and creating movements to the tune of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The symphony, more commonly known as the “Ode to Joy” embodies the filmmaker’s vision and dancers responded to the message.

“He wanted to give a gift to the rest of the world that was saying here it is; it is all worth something to the million hearts out there.  There is joy; this is part of the life,” said D&E Appalachian Ensemble Dance Director Will Roboski.

The West Virginia Highland Dancers meshed their Scottish moves with the choral symphony.

Filmmakers are traveling and shooting traditional and cultural dances from 24 groups who have a special connection to the culture of their homeland and their own unique dance form.

“When you have music, when you have dance, it doesn’t matter what language you speak; it doesn’t matter what color you are; it doesn’t matter where you come from.  Everybody understands the sound and the movement,” continued Tsubata