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Earthdance - Join The Global Festival For Peace

Author: Michelle Pirovich
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Last year 3000 Melbournians joined together and danced for World Peace. On September 20, and coinciding with 'UN World Peace Day', Melbourne will once again join 120 events in 50 countries to create the largest synchronised dance festival for World Peace - Earthdance. Lynne Donnelley, coordinator for Earthdance Melbourne, took some time out of her hectic schedule to discuss this year's festival with TranZfusion.

Earthdance was created in 1997 in San Francisco from a simple idea, 'To get the whole world dancing in support of peace on the very same day, regardless of time zones.'

Since 1998 Melbourne (and Australia) has come together for Peace through music, art and technology, and this year promises to take it all one step further, as Lynne explains.

"Holding the first ever legitimate free electronic music event in the heart of the city certainly makes this year's Earthdance very exciting and accessible, and having it coincide with United Nations World Peace day gives our underlying message and theme of World Peace even greater impact."

"We are having our first ever live radio broadcast from Syn FM - live meaning that the whole event goes to air instead of their usual Saturday programming. RMITV will film the Earthdance documentary live at Federation Square which is another first for us - this will be broadcast later on Channel 31."

"In what will be the first outdoor event for spring, Earthdance will be starting with the Opening Ceremony at 11am with chanting & meditation for Peace with the Tibetan Community, Organik Magik Mandala Dance. The Closing Ceremony will feature tribal drumming, percussion & dance, with a performance by the Dambi Dancers (Sudan), and of course we welcome all people, performers and healers on the day"

"This year we also have a stronger live component which will give a more diverse range of musical styles. DJs and Live acts include; Hesius Dome with Ornament (Live), The Rush Effect (Live), Mantrix (Live), Decoy (Live), Andrew Till, Miss Renee and RifRaf."

This year Melbourne's newest public space - Federation Square will be host to Earthdance. Securing the event and ensuring all regulations were met proved quite a task, but Lynne is delighted to have secured the venue and believes it will help to further community spirit.

"Earthdance Melbourne is now incorporated as a non-profit organisation and, therefore a legal entity which certainly gives us greater access to public venues. Also this is the third year we've held Earthdance in a public space; last year Gasworks and Dallas Brooks in 2001 - both events with no incidents so we have a good record to date."

"In dealing with this kind of venue, the event has to be seen as having some kind of community or corporate value - and a good written proposal helps! I went through the usual procedures and fortunately succeeded in securing the space. I think the biggest difficulties were not actually getting Federation Square, but the accompanying procedures; paying for public liability insurance, creating risk management & event plans, dealing with the event police etc. There are so many more rules than doing a club event. It's definitely worth it though, after all we've had some pretty amazing protests & rallies in the city this year and everyone has been not only tolerant but supportive of other people's ideals and beliefs."

Earthdance relies entirely on funds raised via the generosity of the public. Since its inception in 1997 until 1999, Earthdance have focused their aid on the plight of the Tibetan people and this year Earthdance have chosen to continue to pport Gyuto House and the Nying-Jey Projects.

"The Nying-Jey Projects which houses and educates orphan Tibetan children. I've been in good correspondence with this organisation and have seen what a difference our small contribution has made to so many lives. We may even try and sponsor some individual children's complete educations so that they will one day be able to contr