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Recycling message taught through dance

Mar 30th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

AGILE: Footnote's Francis Christeller hand-stands for school students. IMAGE: Gareth Wallace

RECYCLING and environmental sustainability were the messages of the day for school students attending a show at Capital E’s National Arts Festival.

Footprint, an interpretive dance routine performed by Kiwi dance troupe Footnote, taught children about sustainability and messages such as recycle, reuse, reduce.

“It’s about 52 things that you can do. It’s very child-driven,” said choreographer Deirdre Tarrant.

The dance was performed twice daily in Civic Square, with more than 1500 children attending last week’s festival per day.

Many teachers present said that the show was a new way for kids to receive the message, and it reinforced what they already knew.

The routine covered themes of recycling, including smaller ideas like using both sides of a piece of paper – and effects of pollution and overfishing on the environment.

Even the backdrop to the show and the performers’ outfits were part of the message.

The leaves of the wooden tree forming part of the stage were made from old banners and motorway billboards, with students’ recycling messages written on each one.

The tree was made by Wellington artist Tony Drawbridge, who also worked on props for King Kong and Lord of the Rings.

After the show, students shared their own messages by writing on the tree things like such as “Close your curtains”, “Grow your veggies” and putting a bucket in the shower to reuse water.

Ms Tarrant said the dancers’ clothes were made of eco-friendly materials, as it would not be appropriate to perform such a show in nylon.

Wellington musician Chris Winter wrote music for the show.

“It’s a real collaboration,” said Ms Tarrant.

Schools from across the Wellington region attended the show, with students travelling from Normandale School in Lower Hutt and Rathkeale College in Masterton, among others.

“It’s great to have a festival that’s targeted at the next generation,” said Ms Tarrant.

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