On The Blog: Seismology – Unsettling our selves. Unsettling our spaces.
By Brandy Leary of Anandam Dancetheatre
Seismology, as a field of research, is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of elastic waves through the Earth or other planet-like bodies. Included in this field are the studies of earthquake environmental effects, such as tsunamis as well as diverse seismic forces such as volcanic, tectonic, oceanic, atmospheric, and artificial processes including explosions and excavations. This feeling of seismic waves, an unsettling, low rumbling that accelerates through bodies, is grounding our explorations this week. This idea of recording, witnessing, responding and being an embodied filter for seismic activities, through the body of earth and our own physical bodies holds our curiosities.
The earth as a witness, as a recorder, as a scribe for human activity is a conversation being examined through the carving out of a geologic time period referred to as the Anthropocene which proposes its definition by the significant impact of human activities on the earth and its climate. One of the proposed dates for orientating this period has been suggested as 1610, as put forward by climate scientist’s Simon L. Lewis and Mark A Maslin. This date was chosen in response to arctic ice core samples that record it as the lowest point in a decades-long decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This atmospheric change, as proposed by Lewis and Maslin, is linked to the death and disappearance of over 50 million indigenous residents of the Americas in the first century after European contact. This devastation of the indigenous population meant a significant decline in farming, fire burning and other human activates that affect carbon levels as well as other ecologically significant occurrences resulting from contact that include the acceleration of species extinction and losses of bio diversity. From this orientation of 1610, the Anthropocene supports the foundation of what ultimately evolves into global modernity, and this proposed date is one of the first to consciously link genocide with environmental change in epochal naming.
It is this question of orientation that is so interesting to me, specifically after experiencing evalyn parry’s BUZZ offerings last week through her beautiful and compelling work, To Live in the Age of Melting, where the question of orientation was turned over and over through a multiplicity of world views that understand this relationship between our bodies, our historical narratives and our landscapes as delicate, intricate, vital and reciprocal.
The offering of BUZZ is both generous and generative (thank you Soraya Peerbaye for this phrase). We moved into the theatre with questions, with an examination of how those questions respond not only to the artistic evolution of the work but also to the kind of architectures of our performance spaces and the kinds of relationships we can create in them to offer an unsettling of our sensory orientations, of our perceptual orientations, of our historical orientations, of our temporal orientations, of our geological orientations, all from the perspective and filter of the body.
Created by Brandy Leary of Anandam Dancetheatre
With the support of Theatre Passe Muraille
and The Metcalf Foundation
In the TPM Mainspace
BUZZ presentation: December 18 & 19, 7:30pm
Seismology is a visceral, interdisciplinary journey into our experiences of environmental decline.
Memory loss, melting, fault lines, extreme opposites, seismic waves, little earth quakes, ropes, ice, and dirt set the stage for Anandam Dancetheatre’s newest performance. Working in the spaces of radical hope and imaginary landscapes, we invite you into the intimate, immersive and participatory world of Seismology.
Seismology is a performance collaboration between Choreographer Brandy Leary, Sonic Artist/Composer James Bunton, Visual/Video Artist Eamon Mac Mahon, Dramaturge Soraya Peerbaye, LX Designer Siobhan Sleath and dance/circus artists Amy Hampton, Ryan Lee, Marie France Forcier, Scott Waters, Michael Caldwell and Louis Laberge-Côté and has been supported by a creation process involving Anandam Dancetheatre’s inaugural AIR (Audience in Residence) initiative.
Anandam creates live performances that explore the body as a curious and shifting filter for diverse viewpoints and practices. Performances are created from dissonant sources in alternative spaces or re-visioned traditional ones, and the aesthetic interest is polycultural. anandam.ca
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