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Earthdance - Give peace a dance

Author: michelle pirovich
Sunday, September 8, 2002
There was a time when the wish for world peace rested with beauty pageant contestants and hippies, but with the recent turn of events over this last year global harmony and world peace have become a thought commonplace amongst us all. On Saturday October 12th over 100 countries will come together in the world's biggest synchronized dance music event ever - Earthdance, all in support of world peace. Lynne Donnelley is the coordinator for Earthdance in Melbourne and her enthusiasm for this event is highly contagious. 'It's the first outside event for the year, and it will be just fantastic to get out and stretch our legs.' Over a couple of lovely glasses of red Lynne and I chatted excitedly about Earthdance and what we can all do for world peace.

In the beginning
Earthdance was born 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.' To successfully achieve this Earthdance needed as many parties to occur in as many countries as possible, hence creating a united global dance floor. Since its inception, the word has spread across the globe, and today over 100 countries are dancing for hours in support of peace. Lynne first experienced Earthdance in Tokyo. 'I had a fantastic time over there, and loved the idea so much that when I came back to Melbourne I round up an enthusiastic committee and Earthdance in Melbourne was created. Since its beginning, we have formed a strong global community and platform for music, art and new technology.' 'We are now embarking on our biggest Melbourne party to date, having grown from a small club night into a festival and after hour's party.

Earthdance Melbourne style
This year Melbourne will experience an Earthdance like no other. A free daytime festival at Gasworks Park opening with The Gyuto Monks of Tibet, Earthdance will continue through to the next day with a night benefit at the Colonial Hotel. 'I'm really excited and happy about the way Earthdance has been set up, by pure coincidence the team this year is made up entirely of women and the energy has been very positive. Gasworks Park is an amazing venue, we have indoor and outdoor stages, marquees, markets, and workshops which have everything from Yoga to West African drumming to Spontaneous Choir and Meditation.' Children are also welcome, with a kids disco dome to keep them entertained and a magic wishing tree for children to place their wishes, 'The tree will be sent to the children of Tibet.'

Bringing everyone together
This year Sydney, Cairns, Byron Bay and Western Australia will also come together for world peace. In what has normally been a fairly separate network has this year seen the Australian states become more unified. 'Australia are really working in sync, we are sharing artwork, publicity ideas and djs. It has been a wonderful opportunity to bring Australia together. In a way by coming together on a national level, I feel like we are making more of an impact on a global level, and that is what Earthdance is all about.'

Give generously
Since its inception in 1997 until 1999, Earthdance have focused their aid on the plight of the Tibetan people. In the year 2000, Earthdance expanded its focus to include other important global causes, with each country being able to support causes of their own choice. 'It is very difficult to choose when so much is wrong and in need of help, so we started by looking in our backyard and in particular the asian region.' Funds raised from Earthdance in Melbourne will be going to the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, Outreach, and the Nying-Jey Project of Tibet. 'It is the Gyuto Monks 5th Earthdance and they bring enormous amounts of joy to people whilst touring around Australia. It is also vitally important to give back to Australia's youth, and Outreach is an amazing youth program. The Nying-Jey Project of Tibet focuses on the welfare of children who have been orphaned as<