MINNEAPOLIS, Minn – Last Saturday the Global Water Dance was held in more than 90 locations around the world. In Minneapolis, local Witch Rae Eden Frank joined other artists and environmentalists to raise awareness about global and local water issues.
To draw attention to what the Global Water Dance says is a water crisis, performers come together every other year to perform a four part performance. The first two parts are choreographed to showcase the importance of water as seen by the local community. The third section has performers from around he world performing the same movements while the fourth part has the audience joining the performers in simple movements.
In Minneapolis, the event was held at the Stone Arch Bridge and included the audience participating in holding a long stretch of blue fabric spanning the bridge to represent the Mississippi River.
Local choreographers Lori Mercil and Rae Eden Frank were joined by Global Water Dances founder, Marylee Hardenbergh.
Ms. Frank, a Reclaiming Witch, says this event fits in closely with her religious ethics.
“My spiritual practices are tied into honoring the earth’s natural cycles and paying attention to the moments. There is so much beauty in nature and so much beauty.”
She says her advocation for environmental justice and equity have encouraged her participation in the Global Water Dance for the past five years, “I believe in access to clean drinking water as a fundamental unquestionable human right.”
The Global Water Dance first launched in 2011 in response to UN Resolution 64/292, The Right to Water and Sanitation. The United Nations said unsafe water kills more people every year than all forms of violence and about 1.8 billion people lack access to safe drinking water.
The Minneapolis group says 40% of the state’s 10,000 lakes and 90,000 miles of rivers are are unsafe to fish from or swim in. They claim this leads to negative impacts on the quality of life Minnesotans enjoy.
They were also careful to note that the location where they performed is a sacred site, stolen from the native Dakota people.
Frank says she uses dance as a form of moving prayer, combined with intention, to shift the energy surrounding the waterways and our relationship to them. “This is the power of the witch. The art of changing consciousness at will,” says Frank.