Planetary Dance for Global Renewal at Dominican

Dominican University of California students, faculty, staff, and friends began their Earth Day celebrations early this year as they performed the Global Renewal Planetary Dance on April 19. Choreographed by theater artist Anna Halprin, the two-hour event was held on the Forest Meadows Field.

This participative event, which focused on global renewal, was the first of four dances in the Bay Area. Additional dances will be held in Berkeley on April 26, in San Francisco on May 5 and in Santos Meadows at Mt. Tamalpais on June 2.

The Planetary Dance is a participatory dance rather than a theatrical performance. At its heart is the Earth Run, a simple dance during which participants run, walk, or simply stand in a series of concentric circles and move to the sound of drums. Participants can call out dedications for a person in need of healing.

The Planetary Dance was preceded by two half-hour workshops for drummers/musicians and dancers/walkers.

Dominican’s School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences hosted the event, in partnership with the University’s Intergenerational Conversation Project. The Intergenerational Conversation Project matches Dominican students with older adults to bring about fellowship and understanding through meaningful activities.

The Dominican event was held in celebration of Earth Day 2013, and also in tribute to the career at Dominican of Arthur Scott, assistant professor of history and cultural studies, upon his retirement from full-time teaching.

“This seemed like a fitting tribute since Arthur has worked for many years to expand and deepen the study of, and reflection upon, environmental issues, and Native American cultures at Dominican and beyond,” said Nicola Pitchford, Dean of Dominican’s School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

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