Ecological Art is a worldwide art movement based on ecological awareness. Refer to the coexistance of human beings and nature and, in my case, refer to rising awareness of human-nature unconnection and how this influence us all. Usually, in terms of the materials used in this kind of works of art, they are, in many cases, recycled and natural at the same time. Natural materials and low technological seen talks about the fragility of nature, its cyclicality, constantly changing, vulnerable, but extremely powerful as well, in terms of keeping life going on.
The problematic of human-nature unconnection refers to the way in how humans place ownself in the top of a pyramid and place under him all the rest. Like that humans see everything from the top, downwards in a hierarchical position over nature and not as part of.
Despite of the fact that Ecological Art it has being existing as a form of art since more than 50 years, it hasn’t being present as expression, almost at all, in the dance art. Some choreographers have used the issues of climate change as a theme for their choreographies, but we cannot refer to this as Ecological art, since materials and technology requires, are exactly the same than any other production of any other theme. I believe that an Ecological dance-art hasn’t being developed, because the main ecological issue present in dance is the dancer, who is a human body, nature itself, and, the traditional way of the dancer work – more or less- has nothing to do with ecology.
Most of the well stablished dance-art, does not consider the human body as nature, but more as a body that will be able to fulfill, after an exhausting period of rehearsals, the external aesthetic that a choreographer ask for, without considering own needs of expression and not even own feelings.
The body of the dancer has being treated for hundreds of years in a very hard way, our bodies have being over exploded and at the age of 30, or even at a younger age, they are plenty of injures and suffer, very usually, from continues pain. It is almost a paradox, that a dancer, that is always working from own body, is asked to deny it.
How to make a dance performance where the human body is left to be, in all its potential, nature. Even in a very abstract and symbolic way, to let the body to speak about its own nature is the aim of my works, rising, at the same time, awareness of ecological issues and the importance of community for our society.
Diversity is definitely richness in art and in culture. So, this is the way I, personally, see and experience things. My intention is not to say how things must be done but only share my point of views.
From my experience and worldview I come up with this questions: How is art collaborating with the idea of living in a better society, more equal, more respectful, more secure, for all of us? What is dance “saying” about climate change and nature’s tiring down and over exploitation, etc.? Till when, dance plays just the game of the manipulative capitalism and continue being only an entertainment that make people feel ”something” for a while, forgetting what’s really matters?. And I know I am not alone reflecting on those things.
Cutting the relationship between dance and nature, putting dance in the high pedestal of an inhuman, so call virtuosity, has make it deniable or unreachable for most of people. And this is one reason more for the unconnection between human being and nature, with all the consequences that this has have for our environment. Because when we are born, our first language is movement and rhythm, so we are born with it. We are born with a strong awareness that then, through family and, specially, school education, we start to loose.
The potential for influencing on society in a positive way, that an Ecological dance-art have is amazing. It can touches people lives and make them think and realize, bring their attention back to their own bodies, to their own experience. It is empowering, not only for the dancers or the choreographer, but also for the viewers. It is an expression that not just spend energy, but it also nourish and create a new one, that collaborates with life.
Personally I am interest about bringing art back to its roots, to its origin, which it was, to be, at the same time, powerful expression and a tool for surviving, making it present and available into society, to be experienced for everybody.
We need to dance, dance is what we need.
Dance warm up the body, melting shame,
Dance rise up what is hidden,
Dance reminds you the sense of freedom that got lost in an un-danced society,
Dance makes possible the landing into the awareness of your cells,
Dance is a bridge to connect, concretely, with your body, that is nature, and through your body, to the nature around: to embody nature. To understand and realize what all the new studies on human brain, behavior and climate change have shown and what was so clear in ancestral cultures: that we are al connected among us, that if nature around is not doing well, we humans will not be able to make it, because we don’t own nature and nature is not a thing, nature- the planet Earth- is a living being and we are just one part of it.
Humans are nature, as anything else in nature is and, now, we are living our last dance. Let it be simple or complicated, easy or difficult. May it be authentic and truthful, integrative, sustainable, humble and powerful, may it be freedom and let it happen now, for all of us and for the future generations. (Gabriela’s own notes 2006)