Embodying climate change: Dance Innovations 2022 showcases inspiring new student work » School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
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Embodying climate change: Dance Innovations 2022 showcases inspiring new student work

Embodying climate change: Dance Innovations 2022 showcases inspiring new student work

Dance Innovations 2022: Escalate featured new choreographic works by 23 fourth-year dance BFA students. Performed by students in all years of York’s undergraduate program in dance, this series engages with social justice-oriented themes of resistance and rebellion.

Siege Credit: Phoebe Rose Harrington Dancers: Jennica Boutilier, Christiano DiDomenico, Zoë Rose Harrington, Lucy Jack, Jaelyn Jones

“Escalate examines the ways in which we have the capacity to take things into our own hands, individually and collectively, to press against systems and structures that don’t allow for personal agency,” says Dance Innovations 2022 Artistic Director Tracey Norman. “As we collectively find ourselves in an unusual moment moving toward a post-pandemic existence, the choreographers are investigating what this means for their creative work. [They] are inspired to tell their stories, exhibit states of consciousness and engage the audience in the visceral act of dance-making.”

This year’s instalment of Dance Innovations is rooted in social activism, exploring topics of anti-racism, personal growth, feminism and more. Several of the students dove into the topic of climate change, an imminent threat that affects this generation more than any other. As the artists take a stand against the issues that plague the world, they display their inspiring resilience and vulnerability. Guided by faculty members, students navigated the intersectionality of dance, creating a show that encompasses a broad range of human emotions and experiences. Presented in two series – Resistance and Rebellion – Escalate also features a reconstruction of three connected dances from West Africa by Professor Modesto Amegago for the department’s third-year performance class.

No Word for Wilderness Credit: Amy Williams Dancers: Noelle Dye, Max Tindall, Helena Zarifeh, Nicole Faithfull

Striking works by Amy Williams, Phoebe Rose Harrington, Gabriela June Brathwaite, Rayn Cook-Thomas, Mackenzie Grantham and Zoë Harrington explore worlds vast themes ranging from the world of nature conservancy to human ignorance.

Through the support of the faculty, the collaboration between choreographers, dancers, lighting designers, and technicians has transformed the students’ creativity into a transcendent spectacle. Each piece brings forward a different but relatable concept, with unique and personal insight. With its wide variety of works, Escalate dazzled and inspired audiences.

To read more about the individual works and dancers involved, click here.