Students to Perform Water Dance at Lake Storey
April 09, 2018
The Knox College Dance Program, along with community participants, will perform the National Water Dance at the City of Galesburg's Lake Storey Beach at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.
This community dance performance is a part of the National Water Dance Project, a community arts engagement program first developed in 2011 as an opportunity for dancers of all ages and movers of all kinds to experience the power of art and performance as a vehicle for social change. The goal of the project is to initiate a national "water ethic" that can inform and inspire both participants and audience members to take responsibility for conserving and protecting the water that they use and enjoy.
"Many people see dance as purely a form of entertainment," said Jennifer Smith, associate professor and chair of dance. "And while it can be that, dance is also a way we can connect with others on a deeper, visceral level. This project uses movement as a vehicle for communication across great distances and hopes to initiate conversations on a deeper level within the communities involved on how we can be more actively engaged as citizens of the world in which we live."
The Knox College Dance Program is one of four dance organizations in the state of Illinois, and one of more than 115 dance schools and organizations from across the country, participating in the 2018 National Water Dance event. Smith says that all dancers at all sites will perform a simultaneous dance based on a common movement vocabulary. "Yet, our dance will also include movement unique to us that our dancers developed based on research we did about Lake Storey and the water in our community," said Smith.
There are 18 people involved in the performance of this piece, ranging in age from nine to over 50. "The members of the Knox Dance Ensemble are taking a leadership role in the process as they developed most of the piece's movement and have been the main teachers of the dance to the community participants," said Smith. The community is invited to join members of the Dance Ensemble for games, nature walks, and other activities at Lake Storey Beach beginning at 2 p.m., with the National Water Dance taking place at 3 p.m.