Ivy Kuhn ’16 and an ensemble will perform a dance as part of the National Water Dance project at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. Kuhn organized the event and choreographed the community-dance project as part of a Mentored Advanced Project with Celeste Miller, assistant professor of theatre and dance.
Kuhn's performance, which will feature the Tai Chi Women's Group, Grinnell Community Ensemble, and Pioneer String Quartet, will take place at the College's Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA). Sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies, it is free and open to the public.
The performance at CERA is one of more than 100 National Water Dance sites around the nation that will join together April 16 for a simultaneous event to bring awareness to the pressing issues of water. This event will be live-streamed on the National Water Dance website.
National Water Dance is an organization that creates opportunities for dancers of all ages to experience the power of art and performance as a vehicle for social change by collaborating on the formation of a nationwide movement choir.
“Water is so obviously precious to human life — and to all life — that we shouldn’t need a dance to make us realize it. But this dance is taking place at locations all around the country on the same day and at the same time as a statement that we need to achieve an even more profound realization,” said Jon Andelson ’70, Rosenfield professor of science – anthropology and director of the Center for Prairie Studies.
Each site of the National Water Dance project features a dance that is specifically choreographed to reflect a local water issue.
“I centered my choreography,” Kuhn said, “on the sensory elements of the prairie playing with the imagery of the extensive roots, gravity and sinking, the exchange between breath and contact, in contrast to the internal and external sense of water's fluidity and ability to flood and alter when there is nothing holding it in place.”
Audience participation will be invited at the April 16 event at CERA. “If you can move,” Andelson said, “you can participate in this dance.”
Those interested in participating in the dance are encouraged to attend one of the following workshops, which are open to all ages with no dance experience required:
- Saturday, April 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m., North Room of the Grinnell Arts Center, 926 Broad St.
- Saturday, April 9, 1-2 p.m., Caulkins Community Room at the Drake Community Library, 930 Park St.
- Sunday, April 10, 3:30-4:30 p.m., room 209 of Grinnell College's Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave.
- Tuesday, April 12, 2-3 p.m., Carmen Center, Mayflower Community, 616 Broad St.
Free, round-trip bus transportation to CERA on April 16 will be provided at 2:15 p.m. at the Rosenfield Center. Reservations can be made by contacting Jan Graham, 641-269-4384, by noon, Tuesday, April 13.
To drive to CERA, take Interstate-80 west from Grinnell to Exit 173. Go north on Highway 224 and turn right on the first gravel road (South 12th Avenue East), following it east about 1.5 miles to the main entrance of CERA.