To complement the verbal storytelling of the Burning or Breathing project, Talking Wings performs improvised dances on sites that have suffered current and/or past environmental exploitation. The Spoken Earth Dances fill the spaces left behind by human language, movement giving voice to fractured landscapes. The talking bodies allow the land’s memory to join the conversation, participate in this dance of past, present, and future.
Through the abstraction of the human form, Talking Wings discovers the signs development has left on the earth. In the choreography the body becomes a symbol for the silenced voices of fallen trees, the void of destroyed ecosystems and the new growth that regenerates from the ashes. The goal of Talking Wings is to create a movement language of what has been forgotten. They have performed these interventions throughout the Northeast of Turtle Island/North America, as well as the Antigua Watershed (Veracruz, Mexico).
Movement Joins the Conversation
In March 2020, the Talking Wings teams performed a series of dances in the waters of el Rio de los Pescados, in Jalcomulco, Veracruz. The Talking Wings Team was in Jacomulco documenting the story of the PUCARL, a collective that has fearlessly protected the watershed from large damming projects (follow this link to watch their documentary video). Blake Lavia and Tzintzun Aguilar-Izzo joined their producer Alejandro Bentran Cordero to dance in the river, physically exploring the environmental memory of the waters of the Antigua Watershed. The video documentation was projected on a university library during the North Country Art, Land and Environment Summit, 2020.
The video documentations of the Spoken Earth Dances have been exhibited in a variety of different venues, such as the New York K&P Gallery, the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and the TAUNY Center (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York). Most recently the dances served as an essential component of the North Country Art, Land and Environment Summit. During this month-long event, outside projections, window screenings and website exhibitions, allowed the voices of waterways of the St. Lawrence Watershed to participate in discussing the region's environmental future.