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 Post subject: Dance and Environmental Issues
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Francesco posted this in another topic, but I felt it was a new theme and deserved a topic of its own.

Frma posted 30 June 2004 03:41 AM
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I am doing a research for the RSA in London about arts that engage with environmental issues. At the moment I am gathering information on Dance and it seems that it is one of the few arts that includes this issues in high quality performances (e.g. Tere O'Connor).

I would be grateful if any of the participant could help me with suggestions or comments.

many thanks

francesco manacorda

<small>[ 30 June 2004, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Dance and Environmental Issues
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:43 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
War and human rights crop up quite regularly in dance works, but the environment is a less frequent theme, I suspect.

One strong example is David Bintley's "Still Life at the Penguin Cafe", which dates from about 10 years ago from memory, but has been performed in the past three years at Sadler's wells and elsewhere. There are several reviews here:

http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=33;t=000616

I must go away and think about other pieces. Anyone else have some thoughts?

<small>[ 30 June 2004, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Dance and Environmental Issues
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:12 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Several years ago, a faculty choreographer at the University of Houston choreographed a piece based on the efforts of the US Army Corps of Engineers to pave the banks of a waterway in her neighborhood.

The piece, called Suits, began with a line of men, far up stage, dressed in...well...suits...while several women in diaphanous green costumes filled the space downstage of them.

Shortly into the piece, the men started imperceptibly shuffling forward. As the amount of space available for the Green Things decreased, they began to die, until -- by the end of the dance -- the men were all the way downstage and the last Green Thing died.

Of course, with all the Green Things dead, the men couldn't survive, so they, too, perished.

I can't express in words* how powerful this dance was; it was one of the 5 or 6 most compelling pieces of choreography I've ever seen.

* Of course I can't; if we could say it in words, we wouldn't have to perform it.

<small>[ 30 June 2004, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Dance and Environmental Issues
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 5:50 am 
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Many thanks to everyone, this is extremely helpful.

So far I have collected some examples that sound interesting. I am going to list them here so that if any of you saw them or have comment you can help me formulating a more critical judgement.

Tere O'Connor seems to be one of the most intriguing example of mix between high quality dance and grounded environmental issues, so is last educational project by Wayne McGregor "Alpha" and the site-specific performance "Out on the Windy Beach" by Lea Anderson.

Many of the other information I gathered revolves around educational workshops or general reference to nature.

francesco


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 Post subject: Re: Dance and Environmental Issues
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 6:04 am 
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Location: Gangsterdam
About a dacade ago, there was an environmental advertisement on Dutch TV that raised the issue of oil spillage. I believe it was sponsored by Greenpeace, but I'm not sure. In the video, a dancer of The Dutch National Ballet was dancing the Dying Swan part of Swan Lake in a pool of (fake)oil, thus emulating a bird dying in the oil spillage. I was a child when I saw this and it made a big impression on me. In retrospect I still think it was a very smart idea.

I tried to find some pictures online, but I had no luck with that. Maybe you can contact the Dutch National Ballet yourself for information. It was something that they were particularly rpoud of at the time, so I'd imagine they'd be willing to talk about it :-)

Tex.

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 Post subject: Re: Dance and Environmental Issues
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:50 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Akram Khan's new work, "ma", to be premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, is inspired by environmental concerns:

Quote:
The novelist Arundhati Roy provided an unlikely starting point with her indignant essays on the effect of dam-building on India's economy and environment. Khan responded to her discussion of “farmers for whom everything is connected to their land. When people build these dams, the farmers are moved out in a day, displaced. For me, [the word] ‘ma' has dual meanings primarily ‘mother' and also ‘earth'. They're interconnected. I wanted to explore the relationship of earth to us.” (David Jays, FT)
Here is our topic on Akram Khan, which includes preview articles for "ma":

http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=5

<small>[ 18 August 2004, 03:54 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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