We celebrate water and life through the art of dance. In parallel we are aware that environmental actions are needed to make visible the water issues our world is facing right now. How our local choreographers worked to achieve this goal? Here some examples. The list is still growing, so check regularly!
- Takoradi, Ghana – 2017: The dancers were members of the Nananom (The King’s) traditional troupe.
The dance performance was choreographed to raise awareness about the adverse impacts of unsustainable mining practices, called galamsey. The ideologies reflected in the choreography and overall performances advocates a “Bottom-Up” approach and effective stakeholder engagement practices. The chief of Funko region and the regent of Akatenke spoke about the importance of the event and their efforts to stop Galamsey practices. ~ Emmanuel Brace
- Boca Raton, Florida, USA 2017: The greatest impact this event had was that students, ages 11-16, participated in critical and creative thinking around water issues. They discussed the roles water plays in their lives, the concerns that they had re: water, and created poetry and reflections, as well as movement. For many students, this was the first time they used art to engage in an activist way. I am hoping to continue to do the Global Water Dances, as well as the National, and use this as an example for how young people can be involved in activism and issues. ~Nicole Perry
- Buffalo River, NY, USA 2017: We raised awareness of the need for increased research on effects of ingested environmental toxins and continued advocacy for clean water because research shows certain environmental exposures, for people with genetic predisposition, increase risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. PCBs have been found in relatively high concentrations in the brains of people who had Parkinson disease. Our message is especially strong because our Global Water Dances performers are people with Parkinson disease. ~ Cynthia Pegado
- Flint, Michigan, USA 2017: The Flint Youth Ballet has participated in community engagement events for over 25 years, but our current group had not yet had the opportunity, but had requested it. Global Water Dances came at the perfect time for our curriculum as well as a chance for our students to communicate their anger, fear and hope during the Flint Water Crisis. The Flint water crisis first started in 2014 when the drinking water source for the city of Flint, Michigan was changed from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the cheaper Flint River. Due to insufficient water treatment, lead leached from the lead water pipes into the drinking water, exposing over 100,000 residents. After a pair of scientific studies proved lead contamination was present in the water supply, a federal state of emergency was declared in January 2016 and Flint residents were instructed to use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.
- Bogota, Colombia 2015: Performers, environmental groups and general public were invited to clean up the river Arzobispo right before the performance.
- Morelos, Mexico 2015: created the multi disciplinary project “Caudal”. Their first action will be in June 2016. The community is going to clean the empty river channels in Tlayacapan, Morelos prior to the rainy season and the choreographers will lead the awareness and creativity workshops for the children.
- New York City, USA 2013: Audience signed petitions to stop fracking with Sane Energy project. Fracking ceased in NYS for at least several years. 2015: GWD New York City did a 2 hour talk about GWD and water issues at the 92Y coalescing the filmmaker, two choreographers in person and one by film together with the head of Urban Planning of the NYC Parks department.
- Minneapolis, USA 2013: Audience sent postcards to their Congress persons regarding water issues.
- Lima, Peru 2013: created a non profit organization called “Rio Danza Comunitaria” which engages communities to take care of their own water resources. As a result, Global Water Dances expanded to other cities like Cuzco (2014) and Lambayeque (2015).
- High Falls, New York, USA 2011: Several environmental groups tabled and spoke at the GWD ceremony/performance event to provide information to the public about the risks of hydrofracking and to encourage citizen action to call for a ban on fracking in New York state. Participants signed petitions and wrote postcards on the spot to Governor Cuomo calling for the ban on fracking in NYS. Grassroots action eventually led to the ban on fracking in New York state in 2015. During an estimated 7+ year campaign, it is said that over 20,000 New Yorkers identified themselves as fracktivists – activists to stop fracking.
- Lagos, Nigeria 2011: During their performance, they asked for a water fountain in the Village.
- Washington DC, USA 2011: dancers spoke to small audience groups about the history and state of the river (the Anacostia) and how they could help, giving them printed material about this. 2013: dancers handed out material on the state of the Potomac River and how they could help. 2015: flyers were handed out concerning the state of the Anacostia and how individuals could take action.
- Brooklyn, New York City: Engaged middle school students in an on going educational project and made a film about the GWD performance process they created.
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