Climate change is such a huge issue in modern society and we felt that the population, as a whole, is not informed enough on how their everyday actions have huge consequences for the planet. It is a problem that is often ignored. Similar to the way Pina Bausch and Kantor focused their work on subjects that had affected their lives, we felt that this topic is and will have an enormous impact on our lives and future generations.We started the piece using our bodies to create an ‘iceberg’ shape in the centre of the stage which gradually broke apart leaving one person free to move and rise from the constraints of being trapped. Much like how the ice caps are melting the water is freed to rise and flood the land. To make this effective we looked at Pina Bausch’s ‘Vollmond’ which was a piece focused on water; studying how the dancers moved, so when it come to breaking free from the constraints of the iceberg we could create the impression of water with movements that flowed. Pina Bausch used arms a lot in her choreography, so we put some music on and went with what felt natural.
Much like Pina Bausch used an excess of material to cover her stage, such as ‘The Rite of Spring’; (using soil) or in ‘Nelken’; (covering the stage in carnations;) we used white sheets to create the impression of a snowy landscape. As we performed the white sheets would break apart revealing the black floor underneath, this resembled the cracking of ice the glacial drift; as the performance went on it gradually revealed more of the floor beneath. We wanted the white sheets to show how the beauty of Earth is being damaged by civilizations mindless actions. ‘The use of elemental material covering the floor ‘[provokes] different movements from… dancers as well as emotional responses from…audiences” (Allain and Harvey, n.d.).
We used the Kantors method of ‘Bio-objects’ when we covered the stage in litter. ‘Bio-objects were not props used by the actors. The were not part of “the scenery” where “acting” takes place. They became inseparable from the actors. They radiated their own “life” – autonomous, unrelated to the fiction (content) of the play. This kind of “life” and its symptoms constituted a significant part of the performance. The demonstration or manifestation of the bio-object’s life did not involve presenting any external structure.’(“CRICOTEKA – Fine Arts – Objects – Tytuł Nowego Artykułu – Centre For The Documentation Of The Art Of Tadeusz Kant). Litter is a huge part of our lives and when we were performing it was sometimes sticking to our feet while we were trying to move, giving the impression that litter effecting the environment is inseparable from our everyday lives. It also become a obstruction as we blindfolded ourselves with the bin bags and we could not see where we were moving to.
We then began to use a exercise used by Pina Bausch; writing out words with movement. We wrote words that were relatable to climate change and the Earth; for example, mine was water so my movements flowed. We kept the blindfolds on while performing this to show how humans are blind to the damage on Earth. Jess,had cans tied to her during this as a symbol of how we are constantly tied to the cause of climate change; it obvious a prevalent problem but the majority of people do nothing to prevent it.
Overall, the performance was open to the interpretation of the audience with the theme being ambiguous from the outset. We did not want to give too much away to the audience and make it obvious that the piece was about climate change. Much like Pina Bausch and Kantor people often watched their pieces and left a little confused about what they might have just watched. Our purpose was to make people think about their actions. Our last scene shows how we forget about the real beauty of nature as we take the luxuries we have for granted. As two dancers perform gracefully across the stage the rest of the cast run around throwing rubbish ignoring the tranquility of the movement, much like we ignore the natural beauty of the world we live in.
You can watch our full performance here:
Allain, Paul, and Jen Harvie. The Routledge Companion To Theatre And Performance. Print.
“CRICOTEKA – Fine Arts – Objects – Tytuł Nowego Artykułu – Centre For The Documentation Of The Art Of Tadeusz Kantor”. Cricoteka.pl. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 May 2017.
Govan, Emma, Helen Nicholson, and Katie Normington. Making A Performance. London: Routledge, 2008. Print.