With a desire to change the way we relate to our earth and taking inspiration from natural landscapes and local knowledge, Noa created the performance “2023”.
We caught up with Noa to find out more.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Noa Genazzano, I am a dancer and choreographer originally from Barcelona, and raised in New York City. I graduated from The Ailey School in New York where I began my performing alongside the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. After relocating to London I began working with a variety of incredible choreographers such as Maxine Doyle, Vinicius Salles, and Humanhood, among others.
In 2018 I founded my own dance company, Universe in Motion, to invite personal and global shifts in awareness through movement, meditation, and performance art. My mission is to create entertainment experiences that not only raise awareness but also provide resources to make actionable changes in the global environmental crisis. My first work, U Are The Universe, premiered at Triskelion Arts in NYC and the most recent work premiered at the Blue Elephant Theatre in London!
What was your motivation for your fundraiser, can you tell us a little about it?
I’ve found that when people connect with something on an emotional level they are more likely to take action. So the idea was to use entertainment and art as a vehicle to inspire action by not only creating a work that could entertain but that could also move people on an emotional level and carry a message of environmental justice. I’m interested in bridging the gap between entertainment and activism by using the tools that I, as a choreographer, have under my belt and putting them to work towards a greater good.
My idea then was to not only put on a show that raised awareness for our relationship to the planet but to also have resources in place, through this fundraiser, that meant that just by attending the performance people were already making a difference halfway across the world. It was important to me to take my concept beyond the stage and into the real world and that’s where this fundraiser came in.
How did you come up with the idea for your performance?
The piece, entitled 2023, invites the audience and participants to reflect on their own relationship to the earth and the role we have in the outcome of our planet in these ever-changing and challenging times. I was inspired to create it after traveling in Africa and South East Asia. I’d been blown away by the beauty of the natural landscape and the knowledge of the earth I found in the locals but equally stunned by the growing levels of trash I would find in these natural reserves. I felt that back at home I became more aware of the disconnect we have with the natural world, especially living in cities.
In Zanzibar for example, all the locals I met knew how to tell me which plants could be used for medicines, when the tides would come, etc… The knowledge of the earth was just a part of daily life and I feel like thats something we really lack in most of our modern lives so the piece starts out with a glimpse into that version of the world we can find ourselves trapped in, overwhelmed, anxious, overloaded with fatalistic news and gently guides us out of the chaos and on a journey inwards, to discover our role in creating a brighter future and finally into the sensory vibrant expansiveness we can find in the natural world through the elements.
What was your favourite part?
One of my favourite parts was when we were getting into the theatre and bringing the lighting element into play. As soon as you bring the lights onstage the work takes on a whole other dimension. It’s exciting to watch the concepts you’ve had in your head come to life onstage. The lights become like a second character, they bring depth and accentuate the emotions already onstage so its really magical to see that happen, it never gets old.
Another favourite was working with the composers. I was really fortunate to work with two amazing composers, James Keane, and Joe Scott. Each composer created the score for a different section. With Joe we created the section of the elements and it was really cool to go back and forth with him because we drew so much inspiration from the sounds we would hear out in nature while I was travelling in Bali. I feel like he really captured those sensations of being out in the jungle or by the ocean which was very special.
Why was it important for you to fundraise for and promote Cool Earth?
The work I am creating is all about reconnecting to self and reconnecting to the planet. I am interested in empowering people to recognise how they play a part in the whole symbiosis of the world. When I discovered Cool Earth I absolutely loved their particular way of bringing this to life, empowering local communities to preserve their land in the way they know best.
I think we have so much to learn from communities and indigenous tribes who have been living in tune with nature for long periods of time so taking steps to empower them and in turn make a difference in protecting the planet really resonated with me.
How easy has it been to involve others and fundraise?
It’s been really challenging. For me I think climate is one of the most important things to focus on right now because the work we are doing now will have a massive impact in the years to come. It really is a pivotal, crucial moment in time where action is needed. However I think because we hear about so many things happening in the world, it can feel very overwhelming and people struggle to know where to place their attention or how to make a difference.
I spoke with many people who understood the changes that are happening in the planet on a small scale and truly worry but don’t feel that their tiny actions can make an impact on the whole so they brush it to the backs of their minds. I think my next challenge and focus will be learning about how I can help people see their involvement making a tangible difference.
Do you have three top tips for people taking on a fundraiser like yours?
I still have a lot to learn but my top three tips would be:
🌟 Have a clear vision and purpose – why are you doing this?
🌟 Have a plan for action – how will you bring this vision to life?
🌟 Make it easy for people to donate and get involved
Any top tips for other people wanting to spread climate action awareness through their art?
Do it. It doesn’t matter how. Start messy, start small, start however you need to but the more we come together and amplify our voices, the stronger our impact can be!