Using dance for raising environmental awareness

Dance has the power to bring in social and political changes- underpin a group of dancers who danced for raising environmental consciousness recently. Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence has organised Global Water Dances in London last week in which performers Manju Sunil, Sinjini Chakraborty, Nethra Subrahmanyam, Ragasudha Vinjamuri, Preetha Sukesh, Priyadarshini Niranjan and Jnana Suseela have presented a themed dance.

The dance took place by the lake in Regents Park, one of the important havens for over a thousand bird types. A first of its kind event to highlight water issues including scarcity and pollution, GWD this year had dancers dancing at the same local time in 180 locations across the world. Chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dance Nic Dakin MP has sent a video message on the occasion applauding Sanskruti Centre for being the Site Leader for London, commended the dance participants and underscored the significance of such initiatives in public context.

The ritual started with Cllr Arien Areti and Cllr Philip Abraham, former Mayor of Loughton emphasising on the importance of access to clean and safe drinking water. The site-specific section included a tribute to River Ganga on Adi Sankaracharya’s Ganga Stotra, a particular reference made to Namami Gange, an Integrated Conservation Mission to clean the river from pollution and rejuvenate it for the restoration of biodiversity. The river basin supports lives and livelihoods of millions, in addition to having spiritual and scriptural importance. This rendition was followed by the global dance and participatory dance by some of the audiences present.

Sanskruti Centre has been working on environmental advocacy and has been marking the UN World Water Day since 2017, campaigning for water management aligning with Paani Bachaao Jeevan Bachao (Save Water Save Life) initiative taken in India. Panel discussions on key topics and UN themes have been facilitated and dance has been used to convey underpinning messages on water usage and water poverty.