Lost Species Earth Day Ritual

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Date: 2023
Materials: Performance for 6 dancers and drums, 6 silk circular skirts
Exhibition history: 2023 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta. Photography Thierry Bal

To celebrate Earth Day 2023, Granary Square, King’s Cross was the stage for an intuitive and culturally rooted ritual set against the backdrop of the three striking 60-foot Fabulae Naturae draperies adorning the Granary Building. The performance combines costume, dance and drumming to create a visual spectacle that blurs the boundary between body and architecture where the protagonists of the spectacle are ‘The Lost Species’: species that have gone extinct or whose symbolic meanings have disappeared from our collective imagination, or those that are invisible in urban environments.

Granary Square was filled with rhythmic drumming and dancers dresses in Lucy Orta’s immense circular skirts; lavishly coloured designs that mirror the intertwining lost species depicted on the draperies. In collaboration with Alexander Whitley Dance Company and the drummer Beanie, the performers transform the skirts into billowing sails that assemble the species into a joyous ritual, bursting with energy to re-wild the square.

The Lost Species was commissioned by King’s Cross Artist in Residence Programme 2022-2023, with the support of University of the Arts London Climate Emergency Network and Centre for Sustainable Fashion.