by Charlie Fasano from Ocean Artist Society
The house lights dim and the stage lights come on. The anticipation of the crowd that has gathered grows with the expectation of the show they are about to witness. The audience sits beneath and floats above in a circle, shining their lights into the stage. In the center, a living chandelier of circling silver reflect light rays in every direction. The first dancer emerges and the crowd’s excitement grows. Then another dancer, and another. Though their dance is not choreographed, they move with a concerted orchestration hitting their marks. The dancers move amongst the audience, circling, twirling, avant, arrière. But this isn’t a dance hall, nor is it Broadway. This is NATURE’S THEATER.
To be more specific, this is dinner theater. The house light is the sun and the audience are snorkelers and divers. The chandelier is a school of silvery Āholehole, gathered tightly together in the beams of light used to attract plankton. The dancers are Manta Rays and they are gathered here to feast. The stage…the ocean.
Mantas Rays have Reasons to Dance. Recently, steps in protection through legislation in several parts of the world have been enacted. Concerned citizens, scientists, and environmentalists see a shameful practice gaining momentum, and are sure to let the world know of the atrocity. They were instrumental in educating governments to pass legislation. You’ll read in this issue not just about the beauty of these animals, but the efforts to protect them at the local level and from global trade in a 5 page special report about CITES CoP16. You’ll also meet a wide variety of artists that have had life-changing moments in their encounters. So sit back and enjoy the show. Be entertained by the grace and the story. We’ll give them more Reasons to Dance for decades to come.
Enjoy our free film and e-zine on our Gallery page.