By Karen Bradley
At 3 PM on June 24, people from all over Halifax will gather on the waterfront at the Tall Ship Quay to take part in Global Water Dances, a worldwide celebration of the importance of water.
‘When people dance together, they connect in powerful ways and they generate a sense of agency in themselves and others,” said Susan Barrett, one of the local organizers.
The event will begin with a welcoming ritual from representatives of Nova Scotia’s First Nations. Then Liliona Quarmayne, a contemporary African choreographer and performer (https://www.lilionaq.com/about), will perform a piece addressing the Alton Gas Company’s controversial project in Stewiacke to store natural gas underground. The company’s project involves using water from the Shubenacadie River to carve out caverns in a salt deposit, with the resulting very salty brine released into the river, threatening aquatic life in the river and in the Minas Basin.
The third part of the event will be a short dance that all the communities around the globe will be doing on June 24. Anyone who wishes to perform in this dance should contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Susan (email@example.com) and be willing to attend several rehearsals prior to June 24. The event will end with audience participation.
Global Water Dances began in 2011, and has grown every two years since then. In 2015, a group of us created a full event in Musquodoboit Harbour at the site of the capped wells for the aquifers near Dale Bennett Field and then danced along the trail to the stage next to the Railway Museum. The goal was to raise awareness that a major water source existed that could supply water to the village core.
“You might wonder why and how dancing can bring about greater stewardship and address serious local and global concerns of and about water,” Barrett said. “You can read some of the stories about the impact that previous global water dances have had on the Global Water Dances website. In Bogota, Columbia, for example, participants and the audience cleaned up the banks of the river Arzobispo before the performance.”