As part of International Women’s Month at IE, Yoko Kojima, IE Alumni has shared with us her “sustainability and art”.
Have you had an experience of watching a beautiful ballet show that took you to another world? Or perhaps you have travelled to a foreign country finding it difficult to get into the local community? Then after a few shots of tequila you find yourself dancing with the regulars at a bar? Dance has always been a tool for humanity to form connections among people, especially between different culture and languages.
We are currently facing the greatest global challenge in the history — Climate Crisis. It cannot be solved by one country, yet the international community seems to lack corporation partially because the reality of climate crisis varies depending on where you live. If you are living in Madrid, New York, Tokyo, London, the chances of encountering the impact of the climate change are lower than those living in Indonesia, Moldiv or Guatemala. Today, 1% of the land is non-livable hot zone and this number could go up to 19% by 2070.
Cooperation and communication among different parts of the world is needed more than ever. As much as high level political discussions, such as the Paris Agreement, are needed to tackle global issues, we also need art such as dance and music to be part of the solutions to bring people together, form connections and share individual passions and perspectives of the matter with others, not necessary through language. University of Oxford psychologist Bronwyn Tar conducted a literature study that shows multiple experiments suggesting that “dance and synchronizing to music facilitates interpersonal closeness, providing a means to build and maintain large social groups”.
With a hope to provide an opportunity for people to think about environmental issues in a conceptual and emotional way and form social bond, I as a contemporary dancer and Millenials of Tokyo -a community for independent artists in Tokyo- organized a dance event themed in the environmental sustainability.
(Uncut version of the event itself can be found HERE)
The dance show was followed by a workshop to discuss sustainability issues that the audience hold close to their hearts.
The constant stream of news about the current pandemic, climate crisis, violence, racial conflicts and so on can easily overwhelm us and shape how we view the world. Dance and music could serve as a tool to strengthen our human unity to protect us from such negativity and tackle these global issues while keeping our faith in the humanity.
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We will organize another event in the next couple of months in collaboration with student clubs at IE in Madrid. If you are an artist and have a passion to tackle climate change and social justice, to protect biodiversity and indigenous culture, feel free to get in touch with me.
Cast and credits:
Yoko Kojima | Producer/Dancer/Choreographer
Kiyoko Matsuo | Dancer/Choreographer
Baptiste Tavernier | Singing Bowls
Richard Lee | Photography/Lighting
John Amari | Photography
Don Whigan | Video/Edit
Music | Casa by Kadan, Infra1 by Max Richter