Exploring the climate crisis through dance

Published: 29 October 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

LIFE Credit: Darren Irwin
The Company Credit: Darren Irwin

North East contemporary dance company Eliot Smith Dance’s latest work, LIFE, explores the climate crisis through our connection with nature.

LIFE takes its inspiration from the single sycamore tree in a dramatic dip often referred to as Sycamore Gap next to Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland National Park,” said Smith. “This tree stands alone, surrounded by an impressive landscape. It rises in a gap caused by melting glacial waters thousands of years ago which triggered my thoughts about 'the tree of life' and its 'temperate climate-biosphere'. This led me to find out more about our ecosystem and the human impact on the environment—deforestation, loss of biodiversity of wildlife, changing weather patterns, and rising temperatures.

"I am convinced,” he went on, “that the powerful sense of movement that identifies this season's performances will help our audiences make a more conscious connection to nature and the current climate crisis in the run up to COP26, and that the dancers will draw inspiration from the personal and emotional connection that results from being in the physical presence of a live audience once more.”

The company of five dancers will perform the première of LIFE at Alnwick Playhouse on 11 November at 7:30. The performance is Pay What You Decide. Seats can be booked in advance for a £2 reservation fee.

On the previous day at 2:00, audiences can watch a company class, led by Eliot Smith, on the theatre’s stage. Entry is free to ticket-holders attending the Thursday evening performance or £2 to those attending the class only.

Also in the programme is another première, ELEMENT, by guest choreographer Martin Hylton, which sees four dancers grounded in the elements of human emotion, building to fill the stage with intense movements that connect to each other.

Tickets are available online on the Alnwick Playhouse web site or by telephone from the Box Office on 01665 660550. The performance runs for approximately one hour and 10 minutes, including an interval.