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Santa Barbara GWD

Water Locale

Pacific Ocean. This was a Migratory meditation in the Spring of 2013 culminating in the June 15th Global Water Dance event on the Santa Barbara Channel. Water bodies included the Pacific Ocean (Santa Barbara Channel) and in British Columbia: the Strait of Georgia, Von Donop Inlet, and Desolation Sound.

The Choreographers

Mary Lee Sanders

Audience Site

Santa Barbara Channel, on the water. Migrating locations for ambient shoreline audience, and those on the water.

Time of day for performance

Afternoon into night

History of site and related water issues

Our issues of focus are those that relate to the health and wellbeing of marine life in the ocean off our coastline. As a result of pollutants in the marine environment, the dolphins are experiencing lesions and other stresses. We are dancing for the health and protection of cetaceans and all marine life immersed in these Pacific waters. The dolphins are a celebrated icon of our city, and we dance for the restoration of their pristine waters.

The Music

Recordings of whalesong, ambient water sounds (water gourds.)

The Performance

Mary Lee Sanders’s GWD contribution was part of her larger project, Wolfwalks and Waterdances (a dance odyssey), “a tandem migranting movement meditation for, and with, Nature.”  On June 15, she danced at several sites near Santa Barbara, California, moving with fishermen, beachwalkers, an egret, hummingbirds, crows, and a hawk.  At the Harbor Seal Rookery, Mary Lee “watched them [the seals] leap and play in the surf, steal kisses from one another, return with friends.  When I completed my dance, they danced for me. Not anthropomorphism…this was exhilarating communion and exchange!”
See the document below for a full account of the intentions and outcomes of Sanders’s project:
WolfWalks and WaterDances incl. Global Water Dances 2013

Directions to site of the performance

On June 15h the “site” was migrating on the water, visible from many shoreline sites and water vessels.
Existing sites in May, where the migrating solo piece has already been danced include; Lagoon Island labyrinth in Isla Vista (Santa Barbara, California),and in British Columbia’s Discovery Islands: Tsa-Wa-Lu-Ten beach petroglyphs on Quadra Island, and then on Cortes Island, the beaches of: Smelt Bay, Manson’s Landing, the beach at Von Donop inlet from Kla-hoose trail,and on the water in a canoe on Desolation Sound, near Squirrel Bay.

Other resources and links

POD, Protect Our Dolphins
TerraMar Research, POD project
British Columbia
Raincoast Conservation Foundation


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