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“The whole thing just exploded with energy! It was GREAT!!” Helen Gay, assistant choreographer, Michigan

Water Locale

Lake Macatawa + Lake Michigan (east coast of)

Audience Site

Tunnel Park Beach – Ottawa County


Lake Macatawa (Ottawa for “Black Lake”)is the largest natural inland bay on the east side of Lake Michigan.Consequently, it has been central in commerce and as a haven for the regions. Initially serving as the summer home for the Ottawa Indians, it was chosen by the Dutch in the early 19th century as a place to settle because of the channel connecting Lake Mac to Lake Michigan and because the land reminded them of their homeland. The region has an interesting cultural contrast as a result of the various cultures who have been drawn to the Lake for various reasons – from the conservative Dutch to the Native Americans, fisheries, and tourist industry of boaters & summer beach life. In 2009 Holland was listed as the 2nd happiest city in the USA (Galup)- and the environment was one of the critical characteristics noted as a contributing factor. The environment IS the water.

The Choreographers

M. Linda Graham
assisted by: Jillian Conner, Elena Caruthers, Michael Parmelee, Helen Gay

The Music

Stephen Jenkins and musicians

The Performance

  1. We opened with a few words from our Mayor, the Hon. Kurt Dykstra & A Blessing of the Water (Rev. Jill Russell), followed by a talk from a scientist, which provided information concerning local water issues.
  2. “Emergence, lighthouse, thirst, fresh-water dolphins and nymphs”: Dancers emerge from the water and over the top of the dune, to meet on the beach. The dancers finish the section playing in the surf.
  3. Global section:  At the conclusion of the global section, 30 local volunteers who had come early joined in for the last 2 repetitions of the concluding phrase. Their entrance was energizing, exhilarating. All concluded with the audience learning the audience participation movement, and many joined in for a final line dance doing the audience participation gestures.

We finished with a picnic for all.

How Can I Find Out More?

Contact M. Linda Graham

Directions to Site Location

Go to Holland, MI – west of Grand Rapids, MI off of 196. Tunnel Park is located on the “north” side of Lake Macatawa on Lake Shore Drive. It is listed with Ottawa County Parks.

Email contact

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