Chicago Reader Review
In light of the review of UnEarthed in the Chicago Reader, we feel compelled to speak up ourselves. We are proud of our art and ability to entertain, inspire and create a buzz in our community.
We also respect the opinions of those who are not as rewarded by the experience of coming to our shows, and we welcome their commentary. That is why we appreciate that the Chicago Reader ran a feature on UnEarthed. Pick up a print copy to see full color photography on several pages.
Though the article is full of tenable opinions regarding the depth of our art, some points made (we feel) were inappropriate.
Our environmental commitment
We take issue with the insinuation that our interest in the environmental movement might be superficial. Aerial Dance Chicago has made a commitment to the environment that is sincere and robust. Efforts to reduce our environmental impact will not stop with the conclusion of this show. This is a long-term commitment we have made as a company.
Art as a reflection of our community
We acknowledge the use of unsupported, unidentified voices in our soundscore. Our goal was to provide a reflection of the community rather than give the show one voice. Dozens of community members of all ages and backgrounds were interviewed and asked their opinions about environmental issues and then we layered these voices over our soundscore. This, we feel, welcomes all audience members into this important discussion, regardless of their own beliefs or values.
The impact of our work
Another argument that the author makes suggests that motivation to act requires negativity, contagious anger, or radical thought. We prefer to lead by example, remain optimistic, search for the positive, make the most of opportunities, and find solutions. A positive attitude should not be confused as nostalgia. We know that hope and inspiration are also contagious and can lead to positive, impactful change. While the show has many dark parts, it was our intent from the beginning to give our work an overall sense of hope.
Some examples of impact
Obviously as a dance company, we are limited to inspiring and a bit of minimal education on the topic. But, in being a dance company, we actually reach an audience that might not have already given much thought about the environment in the first place. In that sense, we are educating everyday people, not just individuals that are already knowledgable about the green movement. In the yearlong process of creating this show, our cast and staff had their minds opened to environmental issues and ideas they hadn't previously considered. As they all go on to talk about these things to other family members and friends in daily life, our work is making an impact. Our interviews also reached dozens of people in our community and got them talking. In the different aspects where our work touches peoples lives, it creates a buzz, gets people talking and thinking and we know that is going to make an impact.
Eco-Resources page on our website
We inspired people of our community enough that after just two performances, there were 130 views on our green resources page, a section of our website dedicated to films, books and other resources for environmental education. That, to us, is clear indication that we inspired people to go beyond just seeing the dance, to seek out new knowledge. This is also further testament to our environmental commitment as a company. The time, energy and hard work of researching, compiling and building that page was part of our commitment to make meaningful impact with UnEarthed. » Click here to visit our green resources page.
How did the show impact YOU?
Please post a comment. Our work thrives on your feedback. And, we are sincerely interested in knowing how the show impacted you.