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While many members of the dance community turned out for The People‚Äôs Climate March, I only noticed one other dance person when I attended Birds with Skymirrors at BAM on Wednesday. Most of the cast members were from islands in the Pacific Ocean that no longer exist due to rising ocean levels caused by global warming. As it turned out, the young woman in the seat next to me was from New Zealand and half–Samoan. Before the performance she said she had been looking forward to seeing it all fall. Afterwards she said she was disappointed as she had expected it to be more celebratory of her culture and, indeed, the beautiful imagery was more mournful than uplifting.

BirdsWithSkymirrors

For me, the stage was so dimly lit that at times it was literally difficult to see although I had a perfect view of the stage. On the subway going home I read the translations of the songs and wished that there had been supertitles. The piece was non–narrative, yet the poetry of the songs would have provided more context to the mystery of what was presented onstage. Even so, retroactively, the poetry clarified the imagery in the solo and group, live and recorded elements of the piece. It was such a technically elaborate production, however, that using supertitles might not have been feasible. And even if it were, the supertitles would have to be redone for multiple languages as this work has been touring internationally. Still, the piece has haunted me for days.