• Sem Balança (Out of balance); Dance and visual communication about global warming and the environment

    March 17, 2010

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    Posted in: Sem Balanca; Dance, design and global warming, SOLEY BLOG, Soley work in ENAV

    The last two weeks I have been in the north of Mozambique, first Pemba and then Quelimane along with Kristine my colleague here teaching in the dance school, Vintani dancer in the National Dance Company and David, a graduate student in ENAV. We have been running two one week workshops in dance, design and scenography (promotion, photography, video) ending in a dance and film show. It has been a great time and very successful. Lots of challenges to face and huge experience for us.

    In the FK program me and Kristine are working within there is a budget which the participants can apply for to do a project they develop and want to realize. We applied with a common project and got as well a support from MONO; a new ‘Mozambique-Norway’coopearation project that the Norwegian embassy here in Maputo supports.

    We had all kinds of ideas when developing the project and one of the things we decided on early in the process was to do a project outside Maputo. Maputo is a lively city with all kinds of workshops, shows and possibilities but outside the capital theactivity is limited.

    The project we decided on and developed we call Sem Balança; dance and visual communication about global warming and the environment.

    The idea is to use the artforms to address this topic. We contacted the House of Culture in Pemba and Quelimane to have the workshops there. Both have active dance groups and they were exited about our visit.

    Pemba. Topic: Garbage. Dancing in the garbage and interviewing people about the problem

    It was 5 days workshops ending in a show the last day. The first day of the workshops we showed films and lectured about global warming and the environmental challenges in the world and had discussions. The participants then defined a local problem to focus on in the workshop. In Pemba they decided to address the huge garbage problem in the city and in Quelimane in Zambezia the focus was on deforestation and the silence of the people. The participants were divided in groups of dance and design. The dance choreographies and the scenography and visuals were about the topic they chose.

    The name of the project Sem Balança is taken from a sculpture David made in a workshop in relation to the World Wide Views on Global Warming meeting in Maputo. (The Picture on the poster above is of that sculpture)

    As I have written about here I have been doing projects with my students about the environment. After the exhibition I got a support to take two of my students, David Aguacheiro and Rejão de Carvalho, along to Iceland and Norway over christmas for a study trip focusing on global warming and environmental affairs. Their task was to do a documentary and animation work about this. We did not manage to finish that work before leaving for this project but they will present their work soon after we are back.

    In the end of january and begining of february we put plans for the Sem Balanca on full speed because the project had to happen in march. Both of us were hoping to be able to take at least 2 students along. I planned to take finalists that could do their final project in relation to this project. But the budget was only enough for four persons total. Vintani Nafassi, a really talented dancer from the National Dance Company and a great teacher, came along for the dance part and David Aguacheiro came with me for the design and scenography part. For him this is a continuation of the study trip. He has been working on this subject for the last 2 months and had a loto f useful material. This project is the basis for his final project. He has as well participated in several projects doing video-art combined with contemporary dance and had therefore enough experience to teach with me.

    Here is the Project description

    I will soon post more about the workshops in Pemba and Quelimane. In the meanwhile here are links to the photo albums on Facebook, Pemba, Quelimane.

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