Miami-Based Dance Project Aims To Raise Sea-Level Rise Awareness Nationally

Apr 9, 2014

Student dancers rehearse the Water Project Dance at the Deering Estate on Tuesday, April 7, 2014.
Credit Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

The broad lawn at the Deering Estate at Cutler runs gently downhill to meet Biscayne Bay, washing up between two massive, palm lined jetties to be greeted, on this bright afternoon, by a mass of young people. They flood across the grass, arms and bodies rippling as they surge into lines and circles and lifts in a dance that looks like both prayer and invocation.

“Keep it alive!” exhorts their director, the Miami choreographer Dale Andree, striding the grass in baseball cap and jeans. “You care about it! This is important!”

For Andree the significance of this rehearsal goes far beyond staging a good show. At 4 p.m. Saturday, these young Miami artists will join hundreds of their peers around the country, from Alaska to Maine, California to Mississippi, Massachusetts to Nebraska, in the National Water Dance Project, a simultaneous performance that is both tribute and call to action for a crucial and increasingly beleaguered resource.

Created and organized by Andree, the project is intended to draw attention to pressing issues — from drought in the western United States to sea level rise in Florida — that increasingly concern an essential substance most people take for granted.

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