Dancers are coordinating around the world tomorrow, Saturday to bring attention to water issues that impact global environments.
The event is called Global Water Dances and features a collection of dancers from different backgrounds from around the world.
The first organized dance happened in 2011 and involved dancers from 67 locations. Today, dancers in more than 150 locations will be participating. Long Beach first performed in 2017, led by artistic director Vannia Ibarguen, at Rosie's Dog Beach. This year, the performance is happening at Marine Stadium Park, and the public is welcome to spectate as well as participate in the show.
"The event itself started as a group of dancers who wanted to use dance as a means of raising awareness about environment and water issues," Ibarguen said. "We're creating a network of choreographers and dancers to put on a show and also share a message."
That message asks viewers to consider the state of the world's water systems today as a result of plastic waste, illegal dumping and overall neglect.
Participants in the Long Beach dances include Dance4Oceans and Ibarguen's studio Vannia Ibarguen Dance Arts (VIDA). According to Ibarguen, when planning the dance, she sought out groups that already showcased some focus on environmental issues through their dance routines.
“My intention with this was also to promote the dancers that we have here in Long Beach, because usually dance companies need to go to L.A. or Orange County to present their work," she said. "I looked specifically to see if there were dancers who are dancing about water, or who were tied to environmental organizations or were already interested and had an idea.”
Participating groups around the world will start their dances at 4 p.m. their local time, adding up to about 24 hours of nonstop dances happening around the world in the name of oceanic conservation.
"The dance is split into four parts," Ibarguen said. "Each part is meant to express something differently."
The first part is a water ritual dance and the second depicts local issues about water, this one specifically covering issues in Long Beach. Dancers in other cities will showcase a different version that highlights the water-related woes in their own city.
The third part of the dance will feature unified choreography between all of the dance groups.
"That's the only new dance that all of our dancers had to learn for the event, since everyone uses the same routine," Ibarguen added. "It represents the actions we should be taking, the challenges that we are facing, to address the world's water crisis."
Finally, the last part of the performance involves a bigger group — the audience. Anyone interested in being a part of the performance can join the dancers on stage, learn a few movements, and dance in the finale.
"Inviting the audience makes it that much more intimate," she said. "It means that we can't address these issues alone, it takes a global community."
Bringing awareness to economical issues is just the first step, Ibarguen said. The Global Water Organization partners with various university labs to help raise money for water research.
"We need water for everything to live," Ibarguen said. "We need to take care of the resources we have before we lose them."
The Global Water Dances in Long Beach is taking place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at Marine Stadium Park. Guests can bring picnic foods, blankets and lawn seats to better enjoy the show.