Dancing the Earth

The Hague, Netherlands. “Aardedans” is a production by the Dutch eurythmy ensemble DeDae, which is now on tour again. Here is an interview with the choreographer Gia van den Akker.

Gia van den Akker; Photo: Jorieke de Vet

How did the idea for “Aardedans” come about?

DeDae has the intention of working closely with the spirit of our times [zeitgeist] and therefore deals with contemporary issues. Our first program in 2021 was about the coronavirus pandemic and what it meant for people on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. When we started talking about a new program, we unanimously felt our concern and love for the Earth. At the same time, the Dutch farmers were demonstrating with their tractors. We wanted to deepen our relationship with the Earth and develop our studies on soil and agriculture into a program.

How can the elements and processes of the earth be translated into dance and movement?

We visited farmers and had them tell and show us a lot about soil and growth. We also worked with a Goethean scientist. We translated all these experiences and movement processes from phenomenology into eurythmic choreography. In addition to what happens objectively in and under the earth, we also deepened our personal relationship to it and found suitable texts and music, which we then formatted eurythmically. We wrote some of the texts ourselves, and music was also composed for us.

What would you like to convey to the audience through “Aardedans”?

We want our audience to experience how mysterious, beautiful, and vulnerable our Earth is, to invite them to treat it more consciously, lovingly, and respectfully, but also to convey our joy and gratitude. A performance of “Aardedans” is usually preceded by a workshop in which the audience experiences elements of the program on their own bodies and shapes their own relationship with the Earth. The musicians accompany this workshop, which always results in magical, profound moments and experiences! We are guests here on Earth and are happy every day to be able to move on and with the Earth. We want to share this positive energy.

More Earth in the making

Translation Charles Cross
Title image ‹Aardedans›; Photo: De Schaapjesfabriek

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