You Can Be the Change
Johnson City, TN
2023, Junior, Performing Arts
Climate Hero: Veronika Richterova
The inspiration for this project came from my climate hero, my love for dance, and realizing how much positive impact and change individual humans who come together can make on our earth. My first spark of motivation was when I discovered who I would be showcasing as my climate hero. Her name is Veronika Richterová, and she is from the Czech Republic. I chose to include her not only because of the inventive, impactful, and beautiful art she creates from plastic, but also because the Czech Republic is my parent's home country, and it’s almost like my second home. Ms. Richterová uses the billions of options she has to create thousands of beautiful art pieces out of plastic, each being uniquely different. At the same time, she is also raising awareness about the constant negative impact plastic has on our earth. Reading about her story and the influence her work has had inspired me to create the skirt piece you see in the video. The story behind the dance: A plastic bag-creating machine realizes the detrimental effects the work it is doing has on our planet. The melting of fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases, causing heat to be trapped, leading to global warming and climate change. You will see moments throughout the dance when the machine desperately tries to put an end to the work that it is doing to help stop climate change, but it never succeeds. After all, it is an inanimate object and cannot control what it does. This brings me to my song choice. It is titled "You," and it is by the composer Helen Jane Long. I choreographed my dance to this specific song to tell a story in a more uplifting manner to more effectively inspire viewers to help make a change, because artificial machines cannot. It may seem individual or small, but even just reusing those plastic bags you brought home from the store to create fascinating art like Ms. Richterova's, or recycling them to be used again is helping our planet one small step at a time. I believe dance is one of the most powerful and influential ways to express concerns to the world. Dance has the power to share these concerns but also morph them into humorous and engaging forms of the serious topic, sparking a determined, driven, and happy inspiration in people's hearts.