THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE
"Between 1920 and 1970, two million whales were killed…
nearly half of the females killed have carried an unborn whale."
- Faith McNulty, The Great Whales
"Of the [estimated] 300,000 blue whales (the largest creatures in existence)
who once inhabited the ocean, an estimated 300 live today."
- DEEP BLUE (2003), documentary film
ABOUT: THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE is an interactive multimedia performance piece that includes spoken word, music, film, and improvisational song and movement. While featuring cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) with attention to cetacean-human relations, THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE honors grief associated with common (or global) losses resulting from social neglect and brutal competition, as well as the specific losses experienced by members of each community that hosts a performance.
As a peace offering between individuals, groups, nations, and species, THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE imparts a sense of oneness—an understanding that as we deny and senselessly slaughter others, we deny and senselessly slaughter ourselves.
Please be in touch to discuss hosting THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE.
HISTORY: THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE was produced as part of my graduate work in environmental and grief studies with attention to the human emotional and spiritual response to mass species extinction and genocide.
THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE debuted in 2007 at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. In 2008, Culture and Animals Foundation (CAF) granted funds to support performances and promotion of THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE. CAF funds supported two performances: an April 2008 performance at Indiana University Bloomington presented in conjunction with a lecture from Dr. Lori Marino on cetacean intelligence and sentience, and an April 2011 performance during Naropa University’s Earth Day celebration.
THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE was accepted for presentation at the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture’s 2010 annual conference in Perth, Australia and for workshop presentation to the International Ecopsychology Society Conference in Uruguay September 2017. The invitations were declined due to personal circumstance.
Motivation to promote THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE online (December 2011) led to the conception of Extinction Witness global arts project of Empowerment WORKS, 501c3.