Students from the UNC Charlotte Department of Dance, under the direction of Professor of Dance Sybil Huskey, will participate in National Water Dance. Held this year on Saturday, April 16, National Water Dance is an annual event that builds a nation-wide “movement choir” of dancers who join together to draw attention to global water issues. The topic is particularly urgent this year, with the recent drinking water crisis in Flint, MI, and the persistent drought in California.
A concept first introduced by European modern dance pioneer Rudolph von Laban, a “movement choir” is a community of people dancing together for a common purpose. Over a period of several months, more than 1000 dancers in institutions in more than 30 states have shared ideas and gestures via the Internet, developing a common core movement phrase that will serve as the foundation of more than 80 choreographed works. Joined together through technology, the dancers across the country will perform these pieces at 4:00 pm EST on April 16, creating this year’s National Water Dance. The collective performances will be streamed live, via Google Hangout, available through the event website.
The UNC Charlotte contribution is called “Got H20? Some People Don’t" and has been choreographed by Huskey and the students of the Choreography I class, building on the core shared movement phrase. It will be performed on the UNC Charlotte campus at Hechenbleikner Lake. In the work, the dancers, all female, embody both how water feels and the water itself. The soundscape for the performance will be provided by the lake fountain and rain sticks, played by the dancers.
“As the students and I researched more about water scarcity and conservation, I saw an opportunity to bring awareness to the role of women in the global water arena,” said Huskey. “I added two women, who will be filling buckets of water and carrying them on a yoke, walking up the hill (as if to their village) and returning again. They do not interact with the more ‘feminine’ dancers. The piece shows women with perfect hair and lovely flowing dresses juxtaposed with women at hard work, suggesting how women are expected to be in both cases.”
The performance of “Got H20? Some People Don’t" will be free and open to the public or can be viewed live at livestream.uncc.edu (weather permitting). For more information about National Water Dance, visit http://se.nationalwaterdance.org/.