The Cilia Dance is a high impact, movement piece co-created & performed by local people. It is inspired by Covid19 & the climate crisis; respiratory illness & air pollution; transport & lockdown; community & empathy; choice & behaviour change & Pina Bausch’s Nelken Line.
It is our first piece without bicycles & aims, with the urgency of the climate emergency & need for greater sustainability, to more directly encourage transport behaviour change. Transport is now the greatest contributor to greenhouse gases in the UK. Carbon reductions so far have averaged 0.1%, over the last 30 years, but 17-30% is needed to reach net zero. This sounds huge, but more car journeys are very short – 40% under 2 miles – so how else can we get around?
The piece is conceived as an ambitious experiment in holding a ‘conversation’ about the impact of transport on our lives. Exchanging ideas about how we get around our towns & cities, using the language of movement instead of words; a playful, fun, collaborative & empathic exchange, & invitation to dance in each other’s shoes.
Cilia are microscopic, hair-like structures on the body’s cells, especially the respiratory tract & lungs, in clusters, lines & individually. They are primordial & rhythmic, moving to keep airways clear, allowing us to breathe without irritation. Cilia offer form, rhythm & structure to the overall piece, with a rhythmical walking pattern combined with movements created by participants.
Performers move in lines & clusters, dancing looped sequences that describe, epitomise & reflect how they move around the city: scooting, skating, walking, running, cycling, driving, riding…. Sharing, exchanging, re-creating & re-forming sequences, moving along a route.
Watch a short film of the pilot performance in Brighton for Car Free Day & the city’s build up to COP26.
Participant feedback indicated that 60% had changed the way they thought about moving around the city.
Future Development – our next step is to build on the pilot & re-examine all aspects to evolve the piece. Our ambition is to deliver a cutting edge & affordable community engagement product & high impact outdoor arts performance that engages, entertains & encourages people to choose alternative forms of travel for short journeys, & travel more actively in general.
The Cilia Dance Creative Team includes: Performers, local participants; Choreographer Ella Fleetwood, mentored by Virginia Farman; Sound Design Barry Han with tracks from Tru Thoughts record label; led by Artistic Director, Karen Poley. Commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council.