All around me, things are beginning to ‘return to normal’ which is misleading in both meaning and reality for things cannot return to normal; what was normal—what was before—was precisely the problem. In our separation from nature, and a balanced system of replenishment, driven by our greed and need for super-sized efficiency, our grand-scale consumerism, as Arundhati Roy writes, “another world . . . . She is on her way.” And how she forms, it is up to us all. “As the ice caps melt, as oceans heat up, and water tables plunge, as we rip through the delicate web of interdependence that sustains life on earth, as our formidable intelligence leads us to breach the boundaries between humans and machines, and our even more formidable hubris undermines our ability to connect the survival of our planet to our survival as a species,” we need to change the way we live, the way we manage the land, the way we are. Through our actions, and through “our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness—and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different” from the ones we are being fed through algorithms. Stories from different voices. In the “collective silence” as we take “inventory of ourselves, our lives, the world; the value systems in place” as Heather Lang, freelance artist, describes in the film “Shelter,” we need to care for the environment so it can again care for us, and in doing so, avoid the worst effects of the climate emergency.
As dancers gradually return to classes in the studios at the Australian Ballet Centre, there is still no word as to when and how we may be able to see the company perform on stage. These steps are small, but important. Everything is linked, root to tip, from the biggest of big things to the tiniest ladybug poised on my fingertip; social justice is climate justice.[note]/“social justice concerns are always intertwined with public policy—and absolutely central to climate policy.” Julian Brave NoiseCat, “No, climate action can't be separated from social justice,” The Guardian, June 11, 2019, accessed June 17, 2020.[/note] As the many dance classes now available online indicate and afford, the Australian Ballet and Sydney Dance Company included, a reconnection to our bodies through movement, to dance, is just what is needed right now.
Sydney Dance Company x SSO collaboration. Photograph by Rafael Bonachela
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Plus