The videos from our multi-annual project 'Here and There' go live on the Crooked House youtube.
Here and There is a recently-concluded multi-annual Erasmus+ project featuring a partnership between Crooked House and our Greek partners, Kinitiras. The project culminated in a series of YouTube videos which you can access on the Crooked House YouTube page.
"Here and There: Performing Ecologies is an Erasmus+ funded project involving two European cultural bodies. Kinitiras in Athens, a dance theatre company, paired with Crooked House in Ireland, a theatre-making company, to use performance as a tool for provoking action on climate change.
Kinitiras and Crooked House have collaborated now for more than five years, sharing creative practices, making new work together, and carrying out cultural exchanges with young people from around Europe to explore urgent social and political issues. Together they have brought together more than three hundred young people in Athens and in Dublin to make memorable performances about Europe’s attitude to refugees, youth mental health, state and police aggression towards young people, developing principles for ethical living, and performing in site specific spaces.
In a recent project called Ragaire each company joined with two others from Europe to create and support young ensembles of performers. This was very successful: new young ensembles met in Dublin in October 2021 to share the work they had created at a Festival of European Youth Theatre in Smock Alley Theatre. The success of this project inspired Kinitiras and Crooked House to continue supporting and developing young ensembles of theatre and dance makers.
Thus, they created the Here and There project and submitted it to the Greek National Agency of Eramsus+ under the Small-Scale Partnership programme. It was approved and the work began with 11 young people in each ensemble.
Crooked House’s ensemble produced work staged in parked cars. There are six pieces, each one in a different car. The performances focus on a set of characters, situations, timelines and moods – all inspired by climate change issues. Audiences were invited to sit in the back seats of the cars (three per car) and watched how they unfurl before them. The audience then moved from car to car.
Crooked House has made work in parked cars before. We learned a lot about the logistics of working in this environment, and about the impact such performances in close quarters can have on an audience and also on the young performers. A great advantage of this method is that the ‘theatre’ or performance space is mobile. One can easily bring the theatre to any area, once there is a space to park five or six cars. Therefore, we planned to bring these pieces directly to the places where our elected representatives meet. This made it easier for them to attend and to catch a performance – during their lunch break, for example.
Each company is concerned about climate action and about the relatively slow pace of progress on making any change. Most of the young performers involved see their role as putting pressure on those people in power who can make a difference. They also see their role as taking action themselves. In particular, they are concerned that what we do ‘here’ in this part of the world has huge impact on what happens ‘there’ in the global majority world. All actions have consequences: and positive action here can hopefully improve conditions elsewhere.
Part of the Here and There project will involved each ensemble meeting in Athens in August of 2 022 for the first time. Here, they worked together with invited artists to explore their work, share their ideas, and create spontaneous performances.
Here and There is an important collaboration for young people. It gives them a sense that they can do something about global challenges by focusing on local actions that are manageable and specific. It helps young people overcome so-called climate anxiety, where they can often be paralysed or overwhelmed by the enormous scale of the task before us. It is an inspiring example of how theatre and dance can be used as post-pandemic resources to help young people take action, express their ideas publicly, and feel that they are making positive contributions to their world."
-Crooked House Artistic Director, Peter Hussey