"We need bodies, we need creativity, we need spirit." Bill McKibben's speech at this spring's Power Shift conference called artists to join the movement. "We need to fight with art and with music too," he told the crowd. The energy and cadence of his delivery, the moments of humor, and his poetic descriptions all got me moving. I heard his words as the text for a dance—powerful enough to drive a piece and motivate others to get involved.
Even with compelling material, choreographing a dance about climate change presented challenges. How to create movement that illustrates the idea without being literal? How to capture both the grimness and the hope?
To show our tendency to hide from the problem, the dancers wear dark sweatshirts with hoods on, only peering out to pull them on again. This layer gets stripped away as descriptions of a steadily heating planet accumulate. By the end, each dancer pulls a new dancer from the side, dramatizing the importance of personal connections in drawing others into the movement. The doubled cast performs a simple phrase that repeats as the group moves steadily forward. Reaches, swoops, and faces trained on the horizon all create momentum that pulls everyone into a run.
From the start, Moving People has drawn others into the collaboration. With contributions from many generous artists, Bill McKibben's speech was engineered into a cohesive track. Music was composed and recorded. Dancers rehearsed and revised the choreography. Then one hot summer day, we filmed and edited what you see here. Now we're gearing up perform the dance for Moving Planet at Vermont's State House in Montpelier.
We hope you will send this video to everyone you know. In the words of Bill McKibben, "One in ten Americans. That's the kind of size we need."
Same Planet Productions