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Performing arts activism for addressing climate change: Conceptualizing an intercultural choreographic practice and dance performance called Melting Ice

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In this article we argue that the power and politics of the arts is a way of raising awareness and responding to the globally shared problem of climate change. We illustrate how climate change is integral to a choreographic practice that inheres in: the performing body, which moves while it thinks, feels while it imagines and senses as it understands; and the intercultural dance performance Melting Ice. At the core of this article is a view of epistemology that is embodied, artistic, practical, reflectively dynamic and adaptive to the conditions in which knowledge is created, such as our journeying into Melting Ice. This choreographic practice and performance explores the radical harmony or solubility of the body in all that we do not call the body. The impact of this practice manifested itself primarily when looking back at how the dancers were learning, becoming and being icebergs, and in the act of labelling the choreographic practice of dance-making, the process gives rise to activism.
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Keywords: arts activism; climate change; environment; intercultural choreographic practice; melting icebergs; performance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Cambridge 2: Southern Cross University 3: University of Cambridge and Video art group ‘NEUF’ 4: University of Stavanger

Publication date: 01 April 2018

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  • Choreographic Practices operates from the principle that dance embodies ideas and can be productively enlivened when considered as a mode of critical and creative discourse. The journal provides a platform for sharing choreographic practices, critical inquiry and debate.
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