Dancing Trees is a site-specific dance theatre show created in collaboration with the Belgrade Dance Institute. This visually poetic performance explores the importance of trees preservation. The show engages 7 performers, with the original music, and it aims to sensitize the audience and encourage initiatives in defence against excessive tree felling. In addition to the performances in the parks, the project includes talks, a digital platform, a webinar, a video film and other activities that connect art and ecology.
The performance uses a poetry and magical world of trees that have their “life”, interwoven with memory, communication, care for young and breathing that releases oxygen – so necessary for the human survival. One of the initial inspirations is the book by German forest engineer Peter Wohlleben, “The Hidden Life of the Trees”, together with other sources and researches.
We are witnessing excessive trees cut down in our city in order to build shopping malls, garages, gondolas and other tourist attractions. Is Belgrade gradually becoming a city of concrete? Faculty of Forestry (University of Belgrade) data shows that in 2018, 19% more trees were cut down than in previous years. In 2019 increased for more 2% and the tendency continues. Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate: 7-8 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year, which is approximately the size of Portugal.
Trees not only provide us with oxygen, they also have a number of characteristics important for our spiritual and physical health. 60% of medicines come from trees, and the latest research shows even more. Experts warn that consequences of the Global deforestation are far-reaching – from air pollution to floods, wildfires and complete destruction of ecosystems on the Earth. Trees are an important factor in the fight against rising global temperatures, due to their ability to absorb carbon dioxide. The authors say that planting trees is currently the most efficient solution for climate change in the world. Researchers claim that if the world wants to limit the growth of temperatures by one and a half degrees by 2050, it is necessary to plant another billion hectares of forests.
Will we realize in time their significance for the survival of humanity? How to raise awareness of that importance? This show/project is one course of action.
Our project aims to sensitize the audience and encourage urban initiatives in defence against excessive tree felling . By using creative ways, the show wants to inspire (invigorate) resistance and to motivate citizens to connect and network, be proactive in the defence of trees and forests.
The performance is fallowed by round tables with experts, activists and artists about climate change and tree protection, the webinar “Create Your Own Action “, a digital platform that will connect artists, activists and citizens and Documentary film about the Project.
DANCING TREES is one of five five international projects awarded by the FIXING THE FUTURE program of Austrian Radio Ö1 / ORF. The Directorate for International Cultural Affairs in Austria invited us to present the project at the Innovation
Festival “Market of the Future” in Graz, from 1 to 3 October 2021.