2020/2021, www.environmental-dance.com

about the piece

The project “Environmental Dances” deals with the question of whether the specific body knowledge of dance cultures can be used to achieve a less destructive way of dealing with nature and ecosystems. In a broad research program and several labs (virtual or real) we would like to bring together contemporary dancers from different countries in order to show new possibilities for a further development of ecological approaches in dance, starting from an examination of traditional dances and rituals. Both Western and non-Western dance cultures have a large repertoire of dances (harvest dances, animal dances, rain rituals) that express human relationships with nature in a variety of forms. In addition, many contemporary dance artists work at the intersection of environmental activism, sustainability and somatic practice and see dance as a catalyst for social change towards greater environmental awareness. Dance can provide performers and viewers with a reflective and conscious connection to the ecosystem, and this is not only true for the long tradition of dancing in the landscape. It is true that in order to stop the further destruction of the environment, it will be necessary to find a change from an anthropocentric world view to a way of dealing with nature that sees all forms of life as equal. In our opinion, dance as one of the most original forms of expression has the potential to accompany this search.


The Ugandan initiative “Dance Revolution East Africa”, the production house “Yongonlon” in Burkina Faso, and the German “Company Christoph Winkler” have joined forces to begin major research on the topic of “Environmental Dances”. Due to the worldwide pandemic and the travel restrictions associated with it, we have decided to start a video challenge with the goal of selecting the ten Best African Environmental Dance Videos. We received more than 40 applications and the winners were selected by a jury. Each selected video received a prize of 250,00 Euro.  See the selected videos below.





A collaboration between Company Christoph Winkler, DREA (Uganda) and the production house Yongonlon (Burkina Faso)

First part of the project: African Environmental Dance Challenge. Selected video works:   The Future of Dance Company: Adebajo Oluwafemi and Rasheed Ridwan | Dawit Seto | Geoffrey Oryema | Waka Waka Dance Theatre | Okurut George | Alex Ssebaggala | Paul Kaboré | Florent Nikiéma | Guluma Mgongo | Julie Veronirina Iarisoa

Funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.