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Water Dance in Key West Celebrates Sea And Sunrise

Erin Stover-Sickmen
The Studios of Key West
The Key West Water Dance is scheduled to take place at sunrise on Saturday, April 16.

  While the sunset into the Gulf of Mexico gets a nightly celebration at Mallory Square in Key West, the sunrise gets less public attention.

That will change for at least one day on Saturday, with Key West's first Water Dance. The performance is part of a national project that aims at bringing attention to water issues.

"The obvious water issue in Key West is the rising sea level. But another very pressing water issue in Key West is migration," said Eryn Rosenthal, the choreographer for the project. "Key West is the southernmost part of the U.S., but it's also the northernmost part of the Caribbean."

The Key West Water Dance, scheduled for sunrise (6:58 a.m.) on Saturday, will take place on White Street Pier, which extends off the island's Atlantic shore. Music will be performed by the Orchestre Christophiles.

"When you're on White Street Pier, you're surrounded by water. It's kind of like a microcosm of Key West," Rosenthal said. "It's also a beautiful public space, which is relatively rare in the U.S."

Also relatively rare is a dance performance outdoors, at sunrise. Rosenthal said it made sense for the setting.

"It's a beautiful time for contemplation of these big issues," she said. "It's a beautiful beginning that has a lot of joy and hope to it. A lot of times it's very easy to zoom right in to the doom and gloom of environmental issues. Staging the performance at sunrise is another way of looking at it."

Besides the beauty of the sunrise, The Studios of Key West - which is organizing the project - is offering another incentive to attend the performance: coffee and donuts.

Water Dance was started by Miami choreographer Dale Andree. The Miami performance this year is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Deering Estate.

Nancy Klingener was WLRN's Florida Keys reporter until July 2022.
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