Skip to main content

March 2020

SCU dancers in front of a dark backdrop for The Water Project

SCU dancers in front of a dark backdrop for The Water Project

The Global Water Crisis, Through the Eyes of the Arts

A unique blend of dance, choral music, animation, storytelling, and projected imagery celebrates and critiques our relationship to water.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 2, 2020—Global drought. Floods. Contaminated drinking water. Climate change and water scarcity.

To foster greater awareness, respect, and conservation of the planet’s main life source— water— Santa Clara University’s Theatre and Dance, Music, and Art & Art History departments are presenting an unusual and unique interactive performance that will run for three days, Apr. 3 to 5. The Saturday event April 4 also features lectures and discussions on water justice and youth environmentalism.

The Water Project is a unique blend of dance, choral music, animation, storytelling, and projected imagery that both celebrates and critiques our relationship to water. It features five dances on themes like floods, wells, and water consumption, and incorporates moments of levity, biblical and modern-day water events, audience participation, and nods to key historical moments in the history of water resources in the Santa Clara Valley.

“The Water Project explores all things water: its sacred essence and beauty, its productive and destructive power, its essential life force, and humanity’s predilection to control and commodify water,” said David J. Popalisky, choreographer for The Water Project. “It represents the efforts of a large group of artists and scientists working together—the only way to engage with the challenges of 21st century water issues— to cultivate awareness, appreciation, and action to preserve and protect our planet’s water.”

“There is a role for artists to speak up about social justice issues,” said Kathy Aoki, a professor of studio art who helped create the animation for the event. “This project is addressing many of the social justice issues surrounding water, and ties closely into the values of Santa Clara University.”

“I see these crises as a reason for action,” said SCU civil engineering professor Ed Maurer, an expert in water resources who, along with Environmental Studies and Sciences associate professor Iris Stewart-Frey, consulted on the scientific data being incorporated into the project. “Staying anchored in hope is important.”

Other faculty collaborators include assistant professor of music Scot Hanna-Weir and theatre senior lecturer Derek Duarte. 

Who: A collaboration between members of Santa Clara University’s Theatre and Dance, Music, and Art & Art History departments, as well as water science consultants from the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department Environmental Studies and Sciences.

What: Performances integrating dance, choral music, stories, imagery, and animation will bring attention to the global water crisis and climate change, and emphasize the importance of our relationship with water. Full schedule of events at http://scupresents.org/performances/water-project.

When and Where: 

  • Friday, April 3
    •  8 p.m., Performance followed by talk with performers and faculty, Mayer Theatre
  • Saturday, April 4
    • 5 to 6 p.m. Water Justice in the 21st Century—Near and Far, lecture and discussion by professors Iris Stewart-Frey and Ed Maurer, and student researchers, Fess Parker Studio Theatre (adjacent to Mayer Theatre)
    • 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. Youth Environmentalism Q&A Fess Parker Student Theatre (adjacent to Mayer Theatre)
    • 8 p.m. Performance, Mayer Theatre
  • Sunday, April 5
    • 2 p.m., Performance followed by talk with performers and faculty, Mayer Theatre

Sponsors: Supported in part by grants from the College of Arts and Sciences and SCU•Presents Arts for Social Justice

Cost: Free

Media: Invited to attend to cover the event. Please RSVP to Deborah Lohse, SCU Media Communications, dlohse@scu.edu or 408-554-5121

 

 

Press Release, Arts
Recent Headlines