In the remote reaches of the Southern Ocean, where vast stretches of open sea meet the horizon, there exists an avian species counted among largest of flying birds — the albatross. These majestic seabirds have long captured our imagination with their ability to gracefully navigate the challenging expanse of the open ocean however, their story is more than just a tale of natural wonder; it is a poignant reminder of the urgent global climate crisis. Nestled near the Pacific in the Lace Sun Islands, these once-abundant birds now teeter on the brink of extinction. Scientific projections suggest they may have faced extinction naturally within a century, but the advent of plastics has accelerated their decline.
In a thought-provoking fusion of art and environmental consciousness, Flux: School Of Arts in Bangalore is set to premiere a dance theatre production titled The Albatross. Directed by Sahiba Singh, the show is a half-hour-long contemporary piece performed by the most recent graduating batch of the school. Sahiba’s latest show invites the audience to explore the global climate crisis from a unique perspective — that of the albatross. “Besides the birds, we are presenting nine planetary boundaries, which is a framework developed by scientists to assess and understand the earth’s capacity to support human life within certain environmental limits. These boundaries represent critical thresholds beyond which human activities can lead to irreversible and potentially catastrophic changes to the planet’s systems, ”shares Sahiba, founder, Flux.
What’s even more shocking is that seven of the world’s 22 species of albatrosses are threatened with extinction and the Indian yellow-nosed albatross is one among them. “During my third visit to Europe, I had never experienced the weather that hot there. It was so dissonant for me to be sitting in Europe and sweating like that because it was 33 degrees. I realised I’m not an activist or someone who can single-handedly do something about the climate. But I am an artiste and I can talk and start a conversation. And that’s how this production happened,” she reveals.
Through this production, Sahiba and her team aim to connect with people by imbibing the idea of what we as humans can do from our end. How can we make some changes in the environment by adopting small lifestyle changes such as vegetarianism and consuming less plastic on a daily basis. “We have nine performers, wearing feathers and looking like birds, who will initiate a lot of conversations using spoken word to convey the context of what’s going on. We are using a few props to support the act along with bass-heavy music, which is like a drone piece with no lyrics and it also involves a lot of bird and nature sounds,” the director concludes.
INR 499. October 7, 7 pm. At Bangalore International Centre, Domlur.