Dance Fachin presents their interdisciplinary work on environmental advocacy, The Fourth R: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, REVOLUTIONIZE. Created by founding choreographer, Emma Bartolomucci, this project combines dance with climate science and video projections.
Designed to be both informative and a call to action, the piece presents three characters in a fable-like narrative that explores our human relationship to the planet. The specifics of what each represents is indicated in the synopsis—a fossil fuel investor giant, a consumer of all things, and a person who lives in a place vulnerable to the effects of climate change. But a basic gist can be gleaned from aesthetics and context.
After a time-lapse animation of the earth’s journey from prehistory to present, three dancers (Mireya Poon Young, Julia Molnar and Bartolomucci)—clad in neutral, flesh-toned leotards—appear harmonious. From there, they jump into contemporary outfits. It is here that the earth’s resources become a point of contention and their discord begins.
Particularly compelling is a moment where the celebratory atmosphere turns suddenly dire—a siren wails across a stage bathed in harsh red as a lone figure scrambles to escape an encroaching danger, eventually discovering the awful truth it cannot be avoided, only faced. Another evocative segment depicts a corporate woman frantic to evade the grasp of climate activists who, in a desperate frenzy, are forcing her into the custodial uniform of environmental activism.
The projected visuals—disturbing footage of oil spills and landfill—are very distressing. The information presented in text is concise and appropriately terrifying. This presentation falters somewhat in the specifics of execution. The banal pattern of text, then dance, text, then dance is stilted and repetitive. These elements could be blended more fluidly.
The company has plans to adapt this for a younger audience and tour schools. With some clever tweaking, this will be a wonderfully entertaining and useful educational tool. An interactive element would be ideal here as well—perhaps something to do with the pile of trash that builds slowly as the characters discard unwanted packaging and used-up items off the stage.
There are also plans to bring this through the Fringe festival circuit. I imagine an extended run would strengthen the piece. I highly recommend keeping it on your radar. Bartolomucci’s passion for systemic change is uplifting and her work has a galvanizing energy.