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‘Gathering for Water’: Bringing life to the community

Joel Molina
Dancer performs for those in attendance of “Our secrets as we shed them: Experiencing the Bosque reimaged” on April 20.

UTEP held a two-week dance festival celebrating earth’s most fundamental element, leaving its audience captivated by the beauty of the performances and message.  

Gathering for Water, a dance festival put together by Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, Friends of the Rio Bosque and the Fine Arts Department at UTEP.  

It is a body of work that highlights the importance of water and the impact it has on our planet’s health and survival.   

The festival offered various events for people to see such as pop-up water dances, an art exhibition and more. The festival continued to honor this resource at a dance show called “Our secrets as we shed them, Experiencing the Bosque reimagined.”  

A walk-through experience moves its audience through a magical surrealistic world inspired by Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, divided into four sections containing separate stories, leaving viewers mesmerized by the dancers.  

Building headpieces and ushering for the show, UTEP student Lee Nixon was in awe of the show’s narration and the dancers.  

“I loved the bird section and getting to build those headpieces and then seeing how magical the dancers looked in the space was really gratifying,” Nixon said. “I was in awe for most of the narration and the serene music really brings you into the space of all the creatures and plants in the Bosque only to have that disrupted by the trash and pollution people have brought, it’s almost distressing how it hits you.”  

Each section of the Bosque is explored, starting with grasslands, oceans and wetlands and finishing in the freezing Arctic.  

Audience members get to explore the relationship between animals and plants as they navigate through trash in each section.  

Playing as a bird, Nelissa Vera believes the meaning behind the play is important and encourages people to attend the show since it is an entirely new experience.    

“People should come to the show because it is something new here in our department, something that has never been done before,” Vera said. “The meaning of our show is really important cause it’s about nature and how trash can destroy the environment and the animals are impacted by that.”   

As the show ends, viewers meet the ghost of the Bosque played by Simmone Velazquez, a section of the show that symbolizes how trash and pollution impact Bosques, destroying animals and planets.  

Having two roles for the water dance festival, Velazquez felt playing the ghost of Bosque was the easiest to connect with.    

“Playing the first role was really personal to me because I love nature, so it was very easy for me to connect into the role I was trying to portray, I believe in all of these energies, so it was easy to embody this ghost of the Bosque,” Velazquez said. “The second role was a little bit hard because I am portraying a Victorian dancer who is very abstract and is powerful, so it was difficult for me to portray that.”   

It is important to remember how vital it is to protect our water so that it remains healthy.  

According to an article from The Texas Tribune earlier this month, Texas has the fifth-highest rate of lead in water pipes, which can be cause for all sorts of negative health and environment effects.   

So, while this festival celebrates this element, it can also be a wake-up call to protect our water systems and environment, so future generations can celebrate it like we do today.  

Erik Acosta is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 


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About the Contributors
Erik Acosta
Erik Acosta, Editor-in-Chief
Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in theatre. He plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and print with hopes of working at LA times, Washington Post and ABC News.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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‘Gathering for Water’: Bringing life to the community