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Water Locale

Lexington Arboretum

Audience Site

The Dance was part of the Water Awareness Fair at the Lexington Arboretum.
Activities included Yoga storytime/creative movement stories for children, rain garden planting balls, rain barrel demonstration, hula hoopla and bubbles, face painting, yoga waterflow, mural painting, and performances by area dancers and drummers. Watershed Watch provided water testing kits, and Bluegrass Pride, The Environmental Commission and the Kentucky Environmental Foundation were on hand. Global Water Dances is linked to the Sierra Club’s Rally4Rivers, which took place around Kentucky on June 25 2011. Sierra Club led the mural making workshop which concluded with a mini-rally and parade leading into the 5pm dance performance.


The Arboretum is the crown point of three watersheds leading to the Kentucky River: Wolf Run, Town Branch, and Hickman Creek. The Kentucky River is the source of drinking water for our region. Local issues involve industrial and residential pollution of the river and its watersheds. In Kentucky and the rest of the Appalachian region, mountaintop removal is also a water issue.
One million acres of mountains in the Appalachian region have been destroyed by mountaintop removal. The tops of whole mountain ranges are blasted off and dumped into the valleys and streambeds below, polluting the water in the area nearby. In addition, toxic coal sludge, produced in the mountaintop removal process, leaks into the water table. The water has been declared unsafe for drinking and even for cooking in many communities. But the effects are not only local. The mountaintops contain the headwaters of rivers that provide the drinking water for Lexington and many other cities in Kentucky and in the eastern and central United States. People many miles away are unknowingly affected by the water polluted by mountaintop removal..

The Choreographers

Collaborative work by Sarah Downs, Rebecca Stephenson, Stephanie Woodie, Marianne McAdam, Nashwa Cahill, Pamla Wood, Miranda Hileman, Susan Spalding, and others.

The Music

Music by John Rose.
Local drummers  performed.

The Performance

The performance began with a parade led by drummers and by children, with the water mural they created. Water from the three converging watersheds was co-mingled and shared with audience members during the performance.

How Can I Find Out More?

Contact Pamla Wood, Susan Spalding (email below)

Directions to Site Location

See the website for the Arboretum, The State Botanical Garden of Kentucky

Email contact

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