4th October 2023

How The Forest Dream is putting sustainability at its heart

Sampad are delighted to be bringing The Forest Dream to Midlands Arts Centre in October, a show with a strong narrative and powerful imagery that aims to bridge the chasm between nature and humanity. At this pivotal moment in the race to save our environment, The Forest Dream is an accessible way to introduce young people to the climate emergency.

We spoke with the company behind the show about what they’re doing to reduce their impact and spread the message of The Forest Dream.

The Inspiration Behind The Show
The Forest Dream was a result of choreographer Payal Ramchandani‘s internal dialogue, questioning her own role and contribution to salvaging whatever little we can of the environment, for the next generation.
Storytelling through the medium of dance is how Payal can best delve into an introspective dialogue, and this is what led her to develop The Forest Dream, which is an interpretation of Jadav Payeng’s story.

The Show Itself

There is a section in the work which demonstrates a concept in psychology called ‘bystander effect’ and uses it as a premise for the rest of the scene. The bystander effect refers to ‘the inhibiting influence of the presence of others on a person’s willingness to help someone in need’. Our collective reaction (or the lack of it) to climate change is a perfect example of the above and through this section, The Forest Dream aims to drive home the urgency of what might befall us should we continue to be bystanders.

Actions The Company Are Taking

  • Workshops with community groups to allow them to explore the themes creatively themselves, thus making more people aware of the issues the pieces discusses.
  • Collecting data from collaborators and venues to measure individual and collective environmental impact, for example energy consumption and planet friendly transport options.
  • Facilitating the workshop with dance artist, podcaster, climate and social justice activist Marla King to educate creative practitioners and upskill their knowledge base for working more sustainably.
  • Reusing water bottles instead of buying new.
  • Less printing, for example encouraging audience members to share programmes.
  • Reusing costumes from previous phases of the project.

The Forest Dream is a stylistic blend of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi (both South Indian classical dance styles) and contemporary dance. As the clock ticks irreversibly, this work, holding up a mirror to the current and the next generation, is an urgent plea to course-correct ourselves. Tickets can be found here.