“Blessed Is She Who Dances for Justice and Peace! Carla De Sola” A Report on the San Antonio Campaign Nonviolence Event during the Week of Actions* and the Parliament of World Religions Which Followed It
By Sister Martha Ann Kirk, Th.D.
Water is symbolic of the deep underground river of common spiritual ideas such as peace, justice and compassion at the heart of religious traditions. About 20 persons participated in “Blessed Is She Who Dances for Justice and Peace! Carla De Sola,” September 24, 2015, at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
Sister Martha Ann Kirk spoke about Carla De Sola, one of the foremost dancers, choreographers, teachers, and authors in the field of sacred dance in the United States. She is currently writing a biography of De Sola. (http://spiritmovesomega.weebly.com/)
When Modern Liturgy Magazine recognized De Sola with the prestigious Bene Award, they wrote, “With an eye not only on ecumenical, but interfaith dialogue, her art embraces peace and justice. She dances on holy ground, always seeking to awaken people to the needs of planet Earth.”
Dance and other arts are needed to crack open our hearts of stone. The presentation with pictures and film considered her dances for the Misa Gaia, praying to preserve the earth, and her creative participation in Vigils at the Nevada Nuclear test site and Livermore Labs.
All learned of De Sola’s choreography “Beyond Words: an Interfaith Ritual for Peace” to be presented at the World Parliament of Religions and they gathered around water praying for peace. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l5XLqPq71s
Then a few weeks later De Sola, the Omega West Dance Company, and Sister Martha Ann shared at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the oldest and the largest interfaith gathering in the world which drew people of about 50 faiths from 80 countries to Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 15-19, 2015. “Beyond Words” involved religious leaders of different faiths pouring water together as a symbol of unity.
Gestures from Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were woven together in the dance. The Parliament advocated global ethics concerned with care for the earth, the vulnerable, and building peace through justice.
War and preparation for war, not only hurts people, but these are some of the most devastating things for the earth’s resources.
*Part of the 2015 National Campaign Nonviolence Actions during the International Day of Peace: http://www.paceebene.org/event/cnv-event-blessed-is-she-who-dances-for-justice-and-peace/