For Earth Day 2023, we highlighted dance companies around the world that are taking steps towards a sustainable future. By sharing their efforts, we hoped to generate conversations and to inspire more dancers and organizations in the industry to take climate action.
Learn more about these organizations and check out additional resources below.
Royal Opera House on Eliminating Big Oil Sponsor
After enduring a sponsorship of 33 years, The Royal Opera House in London, England has cut financial ties with BP, one of the world's leading oil companies. The decision is no doubt a result of climate crisis activists who have highlighted the attempts by oil companies to artwash their polluting impact through the good PR of cultural institutions like Royal Opera House.
Read the Full Story Here: https://www.euronews.com/culture/amp/2023/01/27/royal-opera-house-cuts-ties-with-bp-other-cultural-institutions-in-europe-play-catch-up
Kidd Pivot's 1Day for the Climate
Since 2015 Kidd Pivot has been hosting 1Day for the Climate, an employee-company partnership that dedicates one day of work per year to climate protection. Kidd Pivot has measured their touring footprint and has offset over 1000 tonnes of CO2e(carbon dioxide equivalent) since 2015. Kidd Pivot is the first dance company to tour carbon neutral.
learn More About 1Day for the Climate Here: https://kiddpivot.org/1day-for-the-climate/
ODC SF on Demonstrating Sustainable Initiatives
ODC provides a platform for environmental education events, and has hosted a panel discussion on intersections of the arts and the environment, as well as volunteer work days for ODC staff in partnership with a local community farm.
ODC's repertoire includes many iconic works responding to the environment, including On a Train Heading South by Brenda Way and Dead Reckoning by KT Nelson, both of which explore what it means to navigate human relationships in an uncertain climate change world.
One of ODC’s dancers, Cora Cilburn, is also acting as the Sustainability Ambassador, working to promote eco-friendly behaviors within the organization and to increase environmental arts programming.
Learn More About ODC Here: https://odc.dance/about-odc
Learn More About Cora Cliburn Here: http://www.coracliburn.com/
Watch ODC's Climate Related Works Here: https://youtu.be/1N41d7BjShY
Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Sustainable New Works
Lauren Lovette premiered ‘Eco’ for OBT in April of 2023, a piece that utilized entirely recycled sets and costumes, shedding light on the importance of reducing waste in the production of new works. OBT is also collaborating on a sustainable new work with ACC and choreographer, Makino Hayashi for their ‘Made in Portland’ program in the 23/24 season.
Lauren Lovette on her new work for OBT: https://www.obt.org/blog/lauren-lovette-on-creating-space-setting-a-tone-and-being-present/
Learn More About 'Made in Portland' Here: https://www.obt.org/23-24-season/made-in-pdx/
Learn More About Lovette Here: https://www.lauren-lovette.com/about
Scottish Ballet’s Partnership with Imperfect Pointes
On their journey to reach Net Zero by 2030, Scottish Ballet is using the Theatre Green Book to guide them. They’ve also created an environmental group within the organization to evaluate their progress.
Additionally they are the first company to use Imperfect Pointe’s tights; the most sustainable ballet tights. They are 92% recycled, have a 100% emission free production, and are recyclable.
Learn More About Scottish Ballet's Environmental Progress Here: https://www.scottishballet.co.uk/articles/responding-to-the-climate-crisis-creating-a-committee
Imperfect Pointes Partnership: https://imperfectpointes.com/blogs/imperfect-insiders/convertible-ballet-tights-transition-sustainable-dancewear
Paris Opera in Line with The United Nations’ Climate Agenda
The Opera wishes to initiate a Sustainable Development policy in line with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda defined by the United Nations, which will include the implementation of concrete actions to measure the overall environmental impact of our activity, monitoring indicators and defining improvement objectives.
So far the Opera has decreased electricity and water consumption, purchases electricity from renewable sources, and on the roof of the Opéra Bastille uses agro-ecology to add to thermal insulation of the building that also provides fruits and vegetables for POB's employees and the local community.
Learn More About Paris Opera Here: https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/my-committed-opera/building-a-sustainable-development-strategy
English National Ballet’s New Sustainable Space
In 2019 ENB moved into a new building that was made and designed around the environment and sustainability. The building takes into account its material, the construction, and intelligent systems (efficient heating and cooling, LED lighting, natural ventilation, and recycling facilities throughout). This has resulted in a BREEAM rating of “Very Good”.
ENB also applies the Theatre Green Book guidelines for the creation of new productions and has a target to recycle 50% of commercial waste.
Learn More About ENB's Climate Initiatives Here: https://www.ballet.org.uk/mulryan-centre-for-dance/environmental-responsibility/
The UK’s Theatre Green Book
UK’s Theatre Green Book helps productions make changes to create more sustainable art in the theatre. This guide has inspired Scottish Ballet’s and ENB's climate initiatives as well as other UK based Theatre Companies, and includes three volumes of recommendations created in collaboration with UK Theatre groups and sustainability experts.
Learn more about the Theatre Green Book Here: https://theatregreenbook.com/