The St. Vincent’s Centre Creative Dance team, through support provided by Carmen Martinez – Sports, Leisure and Recreation Coordinator – have completed their most recent and most ambitious dance project to date: Stand Up to Climate Change – Our Earth, Our Responsibility – Together We Can Make a Difference. The performers engage in an interpretive dance focused on the key themes of environmental degradation and the need to take action to address climate change. The message of the video was made all the more apparent as the country was battered by three major storms the week of the live webinar premier of the video.
This video is the result of a year-long project which was only possible because of the tireless work of the participants, support persons and many other people behind the scenes. The aim of the dance troupes’ video presentation is to create awareness about climate change and the impact that human actions are inflicting in our world. We also want to emphasise the way in which we all have a responsibility and a role to play in protecting our beautiful and fragile world.
The project began a year ago as an offshoot of the Rethinking Day Supports efforts underway across the organisation intended to restructure day supports with greater emphasis on activities and opportunities based on the needs, wants, and preferences of persons supported by Avista. Carmen had spent time introducing the dance team to the concept of climate change through presentations and videos outlining the scope of the problem and the challenges it may present to society. The dance team opted then to express their concerns through dance and the produced video as while they cannot verbally express their concerns about climate change and the need to address it, they wanted to express themselves through a creative outlet.
The team spent an entire year collecting materials used for the costumes and sets – ensuring that the materials were safe for use, cleaned for interaction, but appropriate to the interpretive dance elements. All participants in the video were involved of their own volition and were fully engaged in both the creative production and expressed their desire to be in the idea to share their concerns about the fate of the planet without action. In summation, the dance team is doing their part, per the Avista mission – to be active citizens and engaged in a process to inform the public of their concerns and be a part of calls to climate action.
In addition to the dance performance video, the team produced at second video where they offer testimonials of why they got involved in the creative process, what went into making the video, and what inspired them to share their voices on the danger inaction poses to our planet.