Unraveling & Turning: A Climate Cabaret

 

On Saturday, June 15, around 350 people gathered on the State House lawn and in the Representatives’ Chamber to watch a variety of acts unified by the theme of climate change. From circus, to dance, to climate-themed skits, Vermonters came together with a common vision– the idea that through art we can begin to understand the struggles we face in the future and motivate ourselves to take compassionate action to protect the natural world.

The Climate Cabaret helped fill the need for emotional understanding of the loss, fear, and opportunities inherent in the reality of climate change. The acts helped strengthen the connection that comes from our shared experience of Irene and other climate disasters.

The event drew a varied crowd. The aerial circus rig grabbed the attention of people passing by on the street, many of whom joined the 350Vermont supporters, artists, activists, environmentalists, children, and others who formed the group of spectators.

After the Cabaret, many relocated to the Goddard Art Gallery on Main Street, which currently features an exhibit on climate change that will run through June 30 on Wednesdays & Thursdays 12-5pm and Fridays & Saturdays 12-7pm.

Shannon McKenna from The New England Center for Circus Arts performs an aerial silk routine that evoked the power of water while newscasts from Tropical Storm Irene play in the background.

Shannon McKenna from The New England Center for Circus Arts performs an aerial silk routine that evoked the power of water while newscasts from Tropical Storm Irene play in the background.

 

Dancers from the Moving Light Dance Company in Berlin perform a piece choreographed by Christine Harris. “I don’t think I would have created a dance piece about climate change independently,” she told the Times Argus, “although this opportunity for creation has inspired me in a familiar way. On my first visit to Vermont I was inspired to create a dance piece on a clearcut piece of land. In some ways this has brought me back to why I am here.”

Dancers from the Moving Light Dance Company in Berlin perform a piece choreographed by Christine Harris.
“I don’t think I would have created a dance piece about climate change independently,” she told the Times Argus, “although this opportunity for creation has inspired me in a familiar way. On my first visit to Vermont I was inspired to create a dance piece on a clearcut piece of land. In some ways this has brought me back to why I am here.”

 

Performers share the story of a young woman who ingratiated herself with the spirit of a river and was protected from harm.

Performers share the story of a young woman who ingratiated herself with the spirit of a river and was protected from harm.

 

Children stake doves to represent healing and protecting a place they value.

Children stake doves to represent healing and protecting a place they value.

 

Performers from Bread and Puppet remind us through a call and response chant and murals that industrial renewables can have negative impacts.
Performers from Bread & Puppet remind us through creative murals and call and response chanting that industrial renewable energy sources like wind can have negative impacts.

 

A ticked off Mother Earth with a sense of humor asserts that the warmer temperatures she’s experiencing are not part of a natural process, like hot flashes during menopause, but rather the result of the burning of fossil fuels.

A ticked off Mother Earth with a sense of humor asserts that the warmer temperatures she’s experiencing are not part of a natural process, like hot flashes during menopause, but rather the result of the burning of fossil fuels.

 

People passing by stop at the 350Vermont table for information about tar sands in Vermont and future events sponsored by 350Vermont.

Many thanks to the National Life Group and Goddard College for their sponsorship!
All photographs by Artifakt Media