Bringing Dance and Environmental Awareness Together
The dance documentary, “Give Thanks Ritual Ocean Project” (GTROP) combines magical realism, female essences, and American Indian mysticism. This work is devoted to the ocean that touches the 300-mile ribbon of beach called the Southern California coastline.
As a native Californian and member of the Cherokee Nation, it is my duty—my spiritual inheritance—to protect and heal the beauty of the earth. Because my DNA is also of Hawaiian heritage, the ocean is the heart of my art. Most of my childhood was spent bodysurfing and body boarding there.
The human body is nearly 70% water and the ocean covers over 70% of the earth. If we listen carefully enough, we can hear the ocean speak to us. The ocean tells me to communicate the urgent mission to heal our planet—now. As a surfer, I’ve witnessed how humans treat the ocean like a garbage dump. But no matter where we live, the ocean is connected to all of us: it feeds us, produces most of the oxygen we breathe, and controls our climate. According to the World Ocean Network, the ocean has radically deteriorated just in the last five years.
Art is a major gift from the Universe and essential to our hearts, minds, and spirits. Water is essential to all life. The GTROP dances will serve as an aesthetically motivating wave—directing positive, loving thoughts to the ocean—as part of a mystical, creative process to heal and protect it, and in turn, us
Written by CJ Schepers