back to the list of All 2013 performances

GWD 2013 NY Brooklyn GWD 2013 NY Brooklyn  GWD 2013 Brooklyn

Water Locale

East River

The Choreographers

Artichoke Dance Company, under the direction of Lynn Neuman, is known for its theatrical athleticism, intricate partnering, and confronting contemporary social issues as well as integrative community programs. The company’s participation in Global Water Dances runs concurrent with the choreographer’s Human Mapping Project, which began in 2010 with site specific performances linking human actions with environmental issues and opportunities for involvement in both. Here audiences can join in a ritual movement chorus that culminates the performance. Interested movers can join the company in a preceding section by attending a rehearsal prior to the performance. Interested individuals or groups, please contact us.

Brooklyn GWD

Audience Site

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Time of day for performance

7:00 pm

History of site and related water issues

Water is and has served as a source of life, a transportation avenue, a recreation playhouse and the center of myths and rituals across cultures. At this site Global Water Dances joins the Harbor Lore Festival to explore our past and present connections to water and examine present day impacts of human actions on the waterways surrounding New York City. Though we call it a river, the East River is actually not a river at all. Rivers, by definition, flow from an inland freshwater source; the East River, however, is connected to saltwater on both ends, making it a tidal strait that connects to two larger bodies of water on both ends: Upper New York Bay and Long Island Sound. The tidal nature of this strait creates the illusion of the flow of a river. Water quality in the East River has improved dramatically since the 1970s. Most importantly, dissolved oxygen levels have risen, which means aquatic life is in better shape than it used to be. However, the East River does not meet all of the water quality standards, mostly because of storm water runoff and Combined Sewage Overflows. The Combined Sewage Overflow systems that have been put into place to accommodate the massive expulsion of rain that is now common and the sewage from office and apartment buildings, which are funneled together in New York City, cannot handle the volume of combined mass during heavy downpours, which are the typical rain patterns today. As a result, unfiltered contaminated water and debris ends up spilling into the surrounding waterways, including unaccounted trash and street litter that runs into rain drains. Both adversely affect marine plant and animal life as well as the ability for humans to enjoy the waters surrounding NYC safely.

The Music

Grace Drums is a percussion & vocals ensemble of spirited women of African descent, with the singular mission of making joy contagious across all races, ethnicities, religions, and with the vision of dissipating all visible & invisible attachments that divide. Our goal is to unify our audiences cross-culturally through joyous, ecstatic percussive expression. Using time-honored traditional West African percussion instruments (Djembe Djundjun), music and vocals from African & Caribbean cultures as a foundation, GRACE DRUMS bridges the traditional to the contemporary, infusing the traditional with influences in R&B, Afro-Caribbean dance music, & vocal improvisation. The result is traditional & contemporary percussion, vocals, and joy, with wide audience appeal.

The Performance

We met at the Tobacco Warehouse. The performance traveled through the park and culminated at Pebble Beach with a movement ritual in which all were invited to participate.
Choreography Lynn Neuman reports that their dance included a section inspired by a daily ritual performed along the Ganges River.  Her dancers launched candles into the river, made of ghee in palm leaf bowls.  She writes, “It was around sunset and timed this way as is the daily ritual on the Ganges – at dusk. It is called Aarti and is a Hindu devotional ritual made to Maa Ganga (goddess river). It has also now acquired the idea of making and sending wishes.”

Directions to site of the performance

F train to York St A/C trains to High Street 2/3 trains to Clark Street B25 bus to Fulton Ferry Landing B63 bus to Brooklyn Bridge Park East River Ferry to Fulton Ferry Landing New York Water Taxi to Fulton Ferry Landing

Local website

Other resources and links

An interactive map of Brooklyn Bridge Park can be found here:


back to the list of All 2013 performances