We tend to take water for granted–it’s there for us when we’re thirsty after dance class or when we need a long shower after a grueling rehearsal. In an effort to bring attention to water conservation, current and former New World School of the Arts faculty members Dale Andree and Daniel Lewis created National Water Dance in 2011. Originally conceived as the Florida Waterways Project, designed to foster awareness of the fragility of Florida’s waterways, National Water Dance has now become a national event that more than 70 institutions in 30 states take part in. Choreographers from participating schools create a short phrase, inspired by a nearby body of water, and share in online with Andree, the director of NWD. She then compiles the phrases into one larger combination–The Ritual Phrase–and posts it on the web. Each school’s dancers learn this phrase and use it to both begin and end their water-site-specific dance, though the total length of the piece, number of dancers, location and costumes are all at the discretion of the dance group.
This year’s National Water Dance will take place on April 12.
Photo by Daniel Lewis, courtesy of Audrey Ross