Saturday April 15, 2023 @6pm at Peace Labyrinth, UUCOD in Rancho Mirage

Desert Movement Arts presents “Baile Baleen,” a movement performance exploring whale life and the whale heart.

The collective has created choreography and improvisation, moving as seaweed, as whales, as imaginary water beings and as one very large heart.

The dancers, aged 41-72, embody the eco-somatic process of making movement art with freedom from the typical limitations of traditional dance training. Rather, the focus is on individual and collective instinctive emotional expressions which guide movement possibilities and aesthetics.

With an original and evocative sound score by Bonni Ross, the piece invites the audience to experience the slow and gentle beauty of cetaceans in a desert landscape.


“Baile Baleen” is choreographed by Desert Movement Arts co-founder Constance Clare-Newman and performers Andrea Stone, Eve Gradilla, Kitty Christensen, Bonni Ross and Jamie Grace Davis.

The April 15th performance is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.

Peace Labyrinth, UUCOD. 72425 Vía Vail, Rancho Mirage

For more information, contact Constance Clare-Newman, 510-219-5097.

Artists’ Statement

Whales face many struggles as humans continue to do more damage to their habitat.

Climate disruptions, pollution and human activities such as mining, fishing, shipping and boating are diminishing our planet’s biodiversity. And biodiversity is what ensures that ecosystems are healthy. Whales are seriously affected by boats, ships and underwater projects which affect their echolocation, and interferes with their “inner GPS,” causing them to beach or lose their bearings and become victims of boat strikes.

These magnificent beings have a unique form of intelligence, are matrilineal and altruistic and have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases that can be combined to form songs that last for hours.

Whales are among the longest living beings, some living up to 200 years. They play a vital role in the health of the oceans where they help provide up to 50% of our oxygen, combating ocean warming and sustaining fish stocks. The way that whales feed, eliminate, migrate, and dive between the surface and the ocean depths (known as the ‘whale pump’) circulates essential nutrients throughout the ocean.

We all know that change must occur for whales and oceans to thrive, and Desert Movement Arts wishes to spark conversation about our interconnected planet—desert to sea, seaweed to tree, roadrunner to whale to human.


Instagram: @DesertMovementArts