Australian-Indian choreographer Ashley Lobo is going to be one of the four choreographers from three continents who will create pieces for Company | E, a contemporary repertory dance company, dance education, and interdisciplinary arts organisation based in Washington, DC. All pieces are to address the climate crisis.
The world premiere of the live stage performance in Washington DC is on June 4, 2021. It will also include performances choreographed by Emese Nagy from Germany; Robert Rubama from Brooklyn, NY; and Maddie Hanson from Canada/NYC. Climate change has been a part of Company | E’s choreographic mission since their first ‘WARMER’ concert in 2008 and this is a natural step forward to delve into the issue more deeply.
The performance will continue till June 6 and Ashley is set to choreograph a piece of about 15 to 20 minutes where the flow of each of the dancers will impact the energy of the others, to highlight the interconnectedness of all forms of life.
Ashley elaborated, “What affects one will affect all. The piece will explore the elements of air, fire, water, and earth within the body and the planet as a whole. The perfection of them in balance and the chaos of imbalance and the resulting shapes and images in those contrasting states, will all be expressed through collaborative movement.”
Describing the theme of the piece further, he says, “The elements of earth, water, fire, and air exist in a synergy of balance. Even in what seems like chaos, it is not nature that is imbalanced but us who have tampered with and altered its natural state. We are part of the whole and what we create within us is reflected in the world around us. The instability within creates an imbalance outside that then seeps into the collective consciousness and actions that destabilise Nature. To bring it all back to a state of harmony, we must first begin with us.”
Ashley believes the consciousness of “one” is as critical to the well-being of the planet as the consciousness of many. “Exploring both imbalance and balance from a perspective of whole the piece will start with the notion that life “is” and will end with the notion of life just “is” and we affect it,” he adds,
About his equation with Company | E, he says, “I have always loved working with artistes across the world. My choreography piece YAMA for instance was done for Landestheater Linz, Austria. And another piece AGNI which I created with Navdhara India Dance Theatre had an international premiere at Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre in Tel Aviv. The cycle of this international exchange of the arts was briefly paused due to the pandemic but am happy that we have found a way around that snd I am once again doing what I love best.”