If you care about the climate, dance / Columns / The Foreigner

If you care about the climate, dance. Art and sustainability can help each other, especially for engaging youth in creating a better world. That is being done around the globe, from Pacific islands, to our home in Norway. Fiji’s Tadra Kahani is an annual dance competition for schoolchildren. One year, the theme was to select one United Nations Millennium Development Goal such as health, disease, or education. Each team of students choreographed a dance to illustrate their goal's meaning. The approach reaches educators, youth, the youth's families, the wider community, the national level, and tourists, respectively. In fact, Fiji's national airline advertised the public show of competing teams on board flights to Fiji, reaching Fijians and visitors alike.

unmilleniumdevelopmentgoal, fijitadrakahanidancecompetition



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If you care about the climate, dance

Published on Friday, 24th February, 2012 at 09:11 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

Art and sustainability can help each other, especially for engaging youth in creating a better world. That is being done around the globe, from Pacific islands, to our home in Norway.

"Rottefangeren"
"Rottefangeren"
Photo: ©2012 Ilan Kelman/The Foreigner


Fiji’s Tadra Kahani is an annual dance competition for schoolchildren. One year, the theme was to select one United Nations Millennium Development Goal such as health, disease, or education. Each team of students choreographed a dance to illustrate their goal's meaning.

The approach reaches educators, youth, the youth's families, the wider community, the national level, and tourists, respectively. In fact, Fiji's national airline advertised the public show of competing teams on board flights to Fiji, reaching Fijians and visitors alike.

Norway can learn from such initiatives. I volunteer with a youth theatre group in my own Oslo-based community. In just a few days, our original, family musical Rottefangeren (Rat Catcher – a spin-off of the Pied Piper of Hamelin) will be on stage with dozens of youth, enthusiastically singing, dancing, and acting.

The messages are not just about having fun or doing art for art's sake. As with most theatre pieces, morals imbue the performances. Do not laugh at, or exclude people with disabilities; be honest and honour promises.

This approach also applies to sustainability endeavours. 'Community' involves everyone, and everybody can contribute to making a community a better place. Leadership means not just making decisions, but also facilitating the collective on their own terms to achieve results that are good for everyone.

In Rottefangeren, it is about keeping rats out of and children inside the community. If we translate that into sustainability, which Pied Piper will rescue us from the rats of greed, overconsumption, and wastefulness? It is about creating a better world for the next generation in the end, for the children who (due to the sins of their parents) were lured away by the Pied Piper.

Art such as musical theatre is a powerful medium for promoting messages about our sustainability behaviour and actions. It is also fun.

We can change the world and enjoy doing so.

Dr. Ilan Kelman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO).



Published on Friday, 24th February, 2012 at 09:11 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: unmilleniumdevelopmentgoal, fijitadrakahanidancecompetition.





  
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