Rise Up With Terpsichore

Eve Ensler, the award-winning playwright and activist, has issued a call to action. On February 14, women and men around the world will heed the call and dance to end violence against women. One billion people are expected to rise and move with passion, for in the world we live in today, one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.

In ancient Greece, it was believed that the pursuit of the humanities could bring us closer to the sacred. Dance, music, painting and literature, according to Greek mythology, were given to humankind by the nine Muses. The Goddess Terpsichore in particular brought us the love of dance.


On a Malibu beach, with the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean, Holly Irwin Bassuk embodied Terpsichore for Goddess on Earth. Speaking from her heart, she wrote: "Dancing is about saying the un-sayable - expressing what words cannot."

Holly is right.

Words cannot express the horrific gang rape of a 21-year-old woman in a Delhi bus who later dies from her injuries. Words cannot express the outrageous gunning down of an 11-year-old girl in Pakistan for voicing her love of education. Words cannot express the inhuman sentence of death by stoning to a 23-year-old Sudanese woman for adultery.

As I photographed Holly dancing on the beach, I watched her strong form catch the sun's refracted light and move with the power of the Pacific waves. Her form revealed an insight into the Muses from antiquity: that beauty, vitality and art are not trivial pursuits, but real alternatives to a world ridden with suffering and violence. So if words cannot express what is in our hearts, why not dance?

Friedrich Nietzsche said: "those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music". Well, I'm not crazy. I hear a drum pulsing in the distance and am going to rise in solidarity because it's time to tell a new story, one more primal, emboldened, and energized. And when I watch others dancing on February 14th, I will see, like the ancient images of the Goddess, strength, power and indefatigable courage. As Eve wrote in her powerful new monologue "Rising" it will "not be a question of inventing/but remembering."

To find and join an event go to: One Billion Rising

'Goddess on Earth' is available at: www.goddessonearth.com or join the Goddess on Earth community on Facebook.