Looking back at the events of last week, and the weeks leading up to it, I believe that our group did an amazing job of interpreting our theme through dance. Our theme of course was water conservation. We chose this specific theme because it does not only affect one small group; it has an impact on the whole world. This idea was inspired by the commercials telling Californians to limit their use of water since our reserves are low. We constantly see people wasting water, and do it ourselves, but never stop to think of the repercussions. Through our performance, we hoped to bring awareness to this very important topic of water conservation.
For the performance, the group decided that the dance would revolve around the different aspects of water conservation. We wanted to demonstrate the good and the bad sides of water conservation. Therefore, for the performance, group members were split up into two opposing sides, one side representing how to conserve water and the other side showing how we constantly waste water. The group was lead by Yahema, and I trailed behind, representing the water levels.
The costumes of our groups consisted of different color shirts representing what side you were on. Red represented low water levels and green was for high water levels. In order for there to be some unity, we each wore a raindrop hat. The group had props that tied into what they were representing, such as water hoes, rubber ducks, and water bottles. We also carried rain sticks for us to keep up a rhythm. My costume consisted of a large water level clock. It represented the different states of water reserves that there are, and our need to start conserving water.
For the choreography, we wanted to integrate various amounts of gestures representing water. During the parade walk, our choreography consisted of us walking at a normal pace, and made hand gestures as though we were swimming, with a clap at the end. As we walked, we would chant “water” and “keep, keep, keep it up, keep that water level up” every time Yahema gave the signal. Once we got to the main performance area, we set up the same way in which we had walked. Yahema stood in the front, the opposing sides lined up next to each other and I stood in the back. The first part of the performance, Yahema and her friend sang a song that introduced the performances of the group members. Then it was time for each of the members “dance-off”. Each person would go up and perform a dance that represented their side of water conservation, or lack of. This included a good and bad way of washing your car, taking a shower, or watering your lawn. For the choreography of each dance, the performers tried to incorporate a variety of orixa dance moves that represented the idea they were trying to convey. During their own dance, each person had their own music selection playing in the background. While each person did their dance, the people standing in the lines did a sewing motion. This was a way of showing that we were weaving a story together. At the end, the group came together in a circle around me, and did a rain dance for the orixa Oxum.
Our group performance was great, but it does not mean that it was perfect. We did encounter many problems through the process. For one, it was hard getting everyone to meet up for practice. It was especially hard for me since I live off campus, which made it difficult for me to attend. Luckily for me, I had a wonderful group who would keep me updated. We also ran into problems with the music, and performance itself. After the test run, we realized it was too long. The group was able to work together and shorten it down by cutting down the music time. Despite all of these problems, the group was able to keep it all together and in the end, give an excellent performance.
As for myself, there is much that I learned during the process. At first, I was very opposed to having to do a performance. Being a rather shy person, who is not very outgoing, it was hard for me to come to terms with having to dance in front of others. I was in marching band, and I am used to being in parades, but it is very different when you are in a 12 member group, instead of a 100+ member group. I thought I would have a very hard time doing his performance, but once it happened, it was not as bas as I thought it would be. If we could continue this piece, I wish that I could have been more involved in the process. I would give some input into the group whenever I could, but like I said before, I was not able to attend most meetings since I live off campus. Other than that, it is thanks to my group, who was very understanding and helpful, that I got through this performance. I hope that everyone enjoyed watching our performance, just as much as I enjoyed being part of it, and that our message was clear. Save the water, save our world.