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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


THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE is an interactive multimedia performance piece that includes spoken word, music, film, and improvisational song and movement.The performance displays and encourages fully embodied grieving.

While featuring cetaceans with attention to cetacean-human relations, THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE is to facilitate the movement of grief associated with the total, or collective, global loss as well as the specific losses endured by each community that hosts the gathering. Read more...

Please be in touch to discuss hosting THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE in, with, and for your community. 

History - THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE was produced as part of my graduate work in environmental and grief studies specific to the human emotional and spiritual response to mass species extinction and genocide. THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE, which represents the culmination of a decade spent processing global loss, 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. Insufficient funds prevented participation. 

At the close of 2011, motivation to promote THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE online led to the conception of Extinction Witness global arts project of Empowerment WORKS, 501c3, that supports the human grieving process and the revival of compassionate lifeways.

THE WHALE MEMORIAL DANCE was also accepted for workshop presentation to the  International Ecopsychology Society Conference in Uruguay September 2017. Insufficient funds again prevented participation.