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Sunday, June 20, 2021


Join the Wave, make a Splash!

The biennial Global Water Dances is celebrating its tenth year of connecting local and global water issues with a full week of festivities and actions from June 8 to July 13, 2021.

“The community of Durban is suffering from water cut-off from time to time due water loss, we as dance community of Durban took a stand during this hard time of pandemic covid19 by urging our community to save each drop of water. How you going to do this? By reports all water related incident this will help the maintenance of infrastructure and the protection of the environment.,” says Vusi Makhanya of the KwaMashu School of Dance.

Save That Drop is a Site Specific Performance that highlights water conservation, safe water and clean water for all.

KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre with EThekwini Municipality PRC Unit –Libraries & Heritage – Arts & Living Cultures will be leading this conversation at Umbilo Park Durban. Over the years, this park has been neglected and it became the dumping site. “This is the beautiful sanctuary place we are delighted to showcase our performance in and to keep this park a sacred space,” adds Makhanya.

The name is taken from the Umbilo River that flows through Pinetown and Queensburgh via the Umbilo canal and eventually into Natal Bay at Bayhead. Also written as Mbilo, it is of Zulu origin, meaning "boiling".

“Since we started in 2011, more and more people have been coming together to use dance to celebrate the fundamental importance of water in all our lives,” said Artistic Director, Vannia Ibarguen. “In 2019, over 180 sites on every continent except Antarctica streamed their events across the globe. And this year, we’re expecting more than 200 sites to participate.”

The founders of Global Water Dances believed that community-based dance performances could be a powerful non-verbal way to mobilize people to learn about the whole spectrum of water issues and to take action to protect access to safe drinking water. And with the Internet, it was possible to coordinate a sophisticated but inexpensive online production, both live and pre-recorded, that would allow people in all the performance locations to connect with each other.

“We have been so moved by the enthusiasm of so many to dance together and to share the stories of their local efforts to secure clean water for everyone, everywhere,” said Ibarguen. “We never could have predicted the commitment of the global dance communities to becoming a voice for agency and change that we see happening now.”

The organizers decided to extend the event from a single day to open the way for more people to participate, and to offer more options to connect. The first day, June 8, will kick things off with a Splash Mob, a one-minute choreographed dance that can be done individually or with a group and posted to social media. The next three days will feature online films of local-issue water dances, past and current. On Saturday, local groups will be performing a dance using the same choreography and sharing the results online. And on the final day, there will be two opportunities for participants to do synchronous sharing of the Global Dance choreography via video conference by using Zoom.

Global Water Dances has released a special half-hour long documentary featuring interviews with three of the founders together with video excerpts from dance performances from the last 10 years, ranging from Johannesburg to Bogota to Paris. The documentary is available on the Global Water Dances Youtube Channel @GlobalWaterDances or use direct link

Global Water Dances is housed at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) in New York City. LIMS’ international network of dancers and choreographers is aspiring to cultivate a new generation of socially-aware artists, who use dance to actively care for our planet and people. Dance is a powerful channel that connects human beings and makes visible what is invisible. Participating in a Global Water Dances event near you contributes to building communities of movement enthusiasts and water advocates around the world.