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Weltoffen Initiated by Rasmus Slatis 

narratives within performing arts in the age of climate crisis - a three-part workshop

The societies of tomorrow are formed solely on our imagination and willingness to explore alternative perspectives. 
The anthropocentrism that has dominated science and arts since Cartesian times today sees its hegemony challenged in various discourses on the climate crisis within art and literature, as well as in socio-political and legislative sectors. Also within performing arts the human chauvinism that constitutes its very core is being questioned.

In the three-part workshop series Weltoffen, students from Ernst Busch Hochschule für Schauspielkunst and Uniarts Helsinki's Theatre Academy will explore how performing arts can position itself in an age of escalating fear of climate and social collapse. Performing arts can predict and help adaptation, as well as harbor and make space for the existential grieving process that is part of this adaptation.

Weltoffen kicks off in January in Berlin, through presentations and discussions by scientists, activists and philosophers that open up the topic, alongside an introduction to the work of the consecutive workshops. These take place in the Torne Valley in Sweden, with one week in June or July, and one week in December of 2020. These workshops aim to understand and embody the tempo-rhythms of the local flora and fauna as well as on perceptions of time and light during the brightest and darkest times of the year, and to interpret these data for stage. The workshops in the Torne Valley will be led by Rasmus Slätis together with the American - German duo Jared Gradinger / Angela Schubot. 

The human relation to, and position within nature as well as to non-human organisms is today being scrutinized in art, literature and legislation with force. By questioning human superiority, space for new narratives, perspectives and agency is made. Like intersectionality as tool of analysis in gender studies has become established and mainstream, holistic approaches interconnecting the multitude of components constituting life on earth are gaining grounds in the discourses concerning the climate crisis. Permaculture, circular economy and regenerative design are no longer peripheral ideas but subjects of serious research as the need for change and adaptation due to the climate crisis increases.

The second and third workshops of the Weltoffen-initiative will be led by the American - German choreographic duo consisting of Jared Gradinger and Angela Schubot, whose radical, simultaneously physically demanding and sensitive work on identity, individuality, the self, on the human nature and human as part of nature is perfect for examining corporeality, performativity and non-anthroponormative narratives.

Guided by a local wildlife guide, we will study the light, rhythm and intensity of the unique flora and fauna in the Torne Valley during the times of the year when it is lightest and warmest respectively darkest and coldest. With the work of Gradinger / Schubot as means of examination, we will attempt to find ways to understand our surroundings and how to communicate these in performing arts. 

Regenerating the Dance Field

The earth is going through significant transitions and are we.

We are not experts, but would like to be in these questions with you…

How do we relate to the land from which we work? On which we dance? From which we come?

How can we move towards ecological understandings of bodies, places, economies, resources, and social-political structures?

What is regenerative thinking and acting and how can we integrate these ideas into the dance/performance/live art fields and its practices?

How might these considerations shift our being and acting on a daily basis? Our sense of who and what shape our artistic values, priorities, decision-making, forms, timeframes, and responsibilities in the long term?

We propose a move from the management and upkeep of ‘sustainability’ into regenerative models (inspired by holistic agricultural methods) as it may be relevant to the professional freelance dance scene of Berlin.

“The priority of regenerative development is to apply holistic processes to create feedback loops between physical, natural, economic and social capital that are mutually supportive and contain the capacity to restore equitable, healthy and prosperous relationships among these forms of capital.” (Elizabeth Caniglia)

We invite you to consider your personal relations to these questions, mapping together an ecology of shifts and recalibrations that inspire sources of action to collectively shift our dance.

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