Classical Indian dance company raises climate crisis awareness through its upcoming production at the Lesedi at Joburg Theatre
The Sarvavidya Dance Ensemble (SDE) is staging its latest production, Bhūmi (pronounced “bhoo-mee”), at the the Lesedi at Joburg Theatre from the 23rd to the 25th of June 2023. Bhūmi, a Sanskrit word for “Earth”, aims to bring awareness to the pressing effects of the climate crisis through the medium of classical Indian dance, namely Bharatanatyam.
Through the use of both storytelling and abstract movement (both are features of the style of Bharatanatyam), Bhūmi explores the delicate balance between humanity and nature, urging audiences to reflect on their role in preserving the planet that we call home. In a context where we have over-farmed, over-fished, over-mined, and exploited and pillaged the natural resources and reserves of the Earth, time is ticking on humanity. We have to take and demand urgent action, if we are to avoid bequeathing a dying planet to the next generation. Thus, with vibrant visuals, rhythmic footwork, and emotive performances, Bhūmi showcases the beauty and resilience of the Earth, while emphasising the critical need for conservation and sustainable living.
“This production aims to be an awakening, provoking thought and hopefully igniting individual action to combat the climate crisis,” says Anusha Pillay, artistic director of Sarvavidya Natyaalaya. “As the audience witnesses the stories unfolding on the stage, we hope that they are inspired to take meaningful steps towards preserving our planet for current and future generations.”
SDEs vision, through Bhūmi and other works, is to expand the vocabulary of Bharatanatyam in contemporary South Africa, and simultaneously render it visible and accessible to audiences who are not familiar with its form. “This production allows us to explore our praxis as a form of social justice, which is one of the core focus areas of our work” says Reshma Chhiba, creative director of Sarvavidya Natyaalaya. “Through dance, we hope to use creative practice to inspire social change in our society”.
Each performance will be followed by discussions with prominent climate justice activists in South Africa.
Join us in our efforts to use dance to ignite environmental consciousness and create lasting impact.