• 20:00: Text: this section was still fresh and needed refinement. The way in which I said the words was too exaggerated: unnecessarily loud and rather overacted. We needed to de-escalate the actions and compress them to achieve an effective result with more concise material so that it looks more like a breakdown. The idea of this scene is to transmit the moment when the data and the understanding of the dimension of the threat posed by climate change become real and hit deep.
  • 23:20: "Grief": the piece went reasonably well according to our initial guidelines. However, we were not convinced about the expression that was conveyed. The grief was almost playful and with too much movement. We decided to look for a more sober interpretation of the grievance, which we are working on at the moment.
  • 29:16: "Vers la Flamme": we tried out what we had done in the previous session. Rosanna is working on transmitting the 'call to action' with which we wanted to end the performance. The piano part needs also refinement and I need to get used to playing after moving on stage.

My project originated from the need to convey the serious threat posed by climate change. I knew that I also wanted to explore and experiment further interaction with other performance artists. Therefore, I looked for the opportunity to join both elements in a performance. I contacted a dancer with whom I have a good personal and artistic connection: Rosanna ter Steege. 

The concept of climate change is broad, abstract, and difficult to compress in a rather short duo performance. However, one of the seeds of this project came from an experience I had in 2019. That year, I suffered a climate anxiety breakdown. This kind of anxiety has surged significantly during the previous years of the pandemic. The understanding of the existential threat posed by climate change and the impossibility to do anything as an individual spiraled down on me and deeply affected me. However, I realised that I needed to take action and do something in the community. I needed to contribute, within my possibilities, to raise awareness in the population about the climate crisis. My solution was to begin joining activities and actions from the activist group Extinction Rebellion. This was one of the most therapeutic things I could have done. It made me realise that every one of us can contribute to fighting climate change and bring more people to the growing climate movement that has been boosted by Greta Thunberg, Fridays for Future, and Extinction Rebellion for the last three years. The ‘rhizomatic’ structure of the latter has inspired me enormously, as well as the valuable human contact and interaction that characterises their activities and actions. One of their main phrases is ‘love and rage’, which concisely and powerfully transmits the emotions shared in the activist group. In my experience, communicating through emotions is a very effective way of achieving a task, so I wanted to show climate change from an emotional standpoint. Most of the time, this is the most direct way to transmit such an abstract problem. 

Therefore, my starting point was the climate crisis and I knew that it had to be conveyed in a deeply emotional way. Rosanna was also very interested in raising awareness about climate change, and she joined immediately. In the appendix 1, she reflects on this project and briefly gives her point of view about how the project is progressing. As she states in the appendix, the creative process began in two components of the framework: concept and interaction. Both components have been worked out thoroughly, mostly through conversations about the crisis and free improvisations. Gradually, we have been shaping the performance by working on the connection with the other components. After eight sessions, we were able to do a rough run-through to feel how everything worked together. Gradually but steadily, we are achieving more cohesion and coherence.  

This section is divided in the rehearsals we have had until now (March 2021), and the components where we focused on. The work is still in progress, but basically all components have already been reached.


Session 4 (8th July 2020)

The session consisted of two parts. The first one was a freer warming-up, where we used the piece ‘Lux Aeterna’ by Ligeti and continued diving into the group expression.




  • Disposition:

The image of the upright piano, as said before, resembled a wall. Therefore, we wanted to explore what this 'wall' could imply, so we explored how to develop a contrast between us two. One strong image was when both of us were standing on opposing sides of the room. It was a contrasting resource that we would use later for achieving this friction between two entities, which is the case of climate change. One of the main aspects of this crisis is the conflict between humans and the rest of the natural world, and how this is critically affecting our species.



In the second part of the session, we used two triggers for pre-dramaturgical units: one text by David Attenborough, and three of my electronic pieces. We received help from Laura Suárez for working on the text. Laura had been watching the videos of the sessions that we were making until then. She gave us some input about aspects to take into account. 

  • Triggers for improvisations (pre-dramaturgical units):

-Text: from Laura’s instructions, we explored three different possibilities of saying the text according to who is the receiver of this text. The first receiver is oneself, the following is the other person, and the last one is the world. The target is different in each case, and changing the target affects the body language and how the text is said.

-Music: the pieces were included later in the same session and widened the availability of triggers. One of the pieces was later discarded.

  • Dramaturgical units:

This early stage of a dramaturgical unit consisted of the two mentioned triggers and a development within a period of time. The gestural material was free, although we kept in mind the actions that we had carried out in previous sessions. We brought some of these actions back and used them for these units. 

First, we said the text in the three previously mentioned ways. After that, we tried out changing the speed and the tone when talking. When we included the music, sometimes we said parts of the text. This was a sort of deconstruction that helped try out all the possibilities one has with a text. As Laura Suárez says in the interview, “it is like squeezing this trigger to its maximum capacity”. In the video, we can see some examples.

Session 9 - first run-through (2nd December 2020)

The 9th session consisted of a tryout that we did at CREA Amsterdam. This time we had the opportunity to show the performance to Rosanna’s friend Nine Rab, who is also a dancer herself. The run-through was very useful to experience the feeling of performing everything without stopping, and how we experienced the structure. Moreover, the presence of someone unrelated to the project was important for us to know if the message and the emotions were delivered properly.

Session 1 (10th June 2020)


  • Interaction:

Through free improvisation, we explored our group expression. The task was to be as free as possible and use the space we were rehearsing in. We recorded the session and watched it later. 

  • Potential actions:

After watching the video of the session, we searched for actions and gestures that appeared during the improvisation that we could develop further concerning the concept of climate change. We mainly looked for expressive moments and gestures that could convey images that were related to the topic.

  • Potential dramaturgical units:

I had created a few electronic pieces that I thought about using in the performance. We listened to them with Rosanna. She told me about the images or feelings that each one evoked her. Considering these first impressions, we discarded the pieces that did not match what we wanted to achieve. We remained with three pieces in total.

  • Concept:

We did not include the concept in the improvisation session, in order to achieve the most organic group expression possible. Therefore, the work on this component happened parallel to the one on the interaction. It consisted of conversations that we held about the issue of climate change. I know quite a lot about the topic. Therefore, I could give insights into how this crisis is affecting us and our ecosystems. The long conversations had the aim to find a common mindset and, especially, common emotions. There is a heavy emotional weight in this performance. The existential threat to our civilisations is real, and the message has to be honest.


Session 2 (24th June 2020)

This session was 18 minutes long and consisted of another free improvisation. In this session, I only played the piano, except for one part, where I moved out for three minutes.



  • Disposition:

In this section, we used an upright piano. The verticality of the upright provided the stark visual image of a wall to the performance, as opposed to the more ambiguous form of the grand piano.


  • Interaction:

During the session, we continued exploring the group expression. This time, I played the piano much more than in the previous one.

Session 3 (1st July 2020)

Due to technical problems, we were not able to record this session, but we took notes and discussed it during the rehearsal.



  • Quality of the element of the piano and our relation to it:

We explored how to relate to the upright piano and experimented how to include the whole instrument to the performance. In my case, I  removed the lower lid of the piano to be able to pluck the strings with my fingers and damp them with my feet. I included my whole body in the playing. I wrote down two examples that could potentially be developed. The first one was to do a glissando on the strings with both arms in an inward and outward movement. The second experiment was to play the keys, slowly stand up, and then gradually fall on the floor, while still playing. These are some examples of exploring the limits of merging body movement and my artistic expression as a musician.

Session 5 (15th July 2020)

In this session, Laura Suárez was visiting the Netherlands, so we had the chance to work with her in person. We used the text again, plus one electronic piece and improvisation. All three were connected to each other, and after going through them, we analysed how we felt and what we could use for later.



  • Expression/Impression and Intention. Introducing the structuring elements.

We analysed the impressions we had perceived during the session. These impressions were emotions and images. To deepen in these impressions, Laura Suárez brought up the question about what each one of us was representing. It was an issue to start taking into account. We needed to include elements to enrich the intentions and the expressions, and relate these components to the concept of the climate crisis.
One of the words from the text was ‘collapse’, which was very interesting to keep as an idea for the structure. It also allowed a connection between the ecological collapse caused by climate change and the emotional collapse caused by realising the extent of this threat. 

  • Structure:

The structure follows the process I went through when I experienced this mental breakdown in 2019. It can be related to many other people. In fact, Extinction Rebellion frequently organises a lecture called “Heading for Extinction and what to do about it”. In the lecture I attended, they provided all the data available that shows the extent of the existential threat posed by climate change escaping our control. There was an overview of the consequences to the climate and the ecology according to the different scenarios of global temperature rise, among other things. At a certain point, this data became very overwhelming, and the lecturer asked us to take some minutes to grief. The idea was to use this time to embrace the sadness, anger and impotence that this problem means. After the grief, the lecturer defended the idea of taking action to raise awareness in the social environment and the political discussion. Mixing both of them, I organised a dramatic arch that would develop as follows:


-Clash between normality and reality: climate change is perceived but ignored.

-Reality becomes unsustainable: the clash comes to a point of no return. There is a clear confrontation with the grim reality posed by climate change.

-Grief: the emotion arrives at its darkest point. The idea is to dive in this grief and transmit it as honestly as possible.

-Call to action: the last part calls the public and all of us to act to raise this awareness in society and the political agenda, each one in their own possibilities, and avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.


  • Structuring elements: 

Since climate change is hard to translate directly to a performance, the structuring elements were very important. Laura Suárez introduced this idea and we started adding it to our next session. These elements were air, earth, fire and water, plus the contrast of human and nature. These elements enriched and narrowed down the ideas in the dramatical units and the rest of components. The image of the four elements helped make the impact of climate change more concrete. While they are essential for us to live, they are turning against us in various ways: pollution, storms, floods, fires, drought, etc. 

Session 6 (24th September 2020)

This session consisted in a 30-minutes improvisation that included the first piece I created, ‘Air Alarm’, and that developed into a free improvisation including the use of some words from the text by Attenborough.


Session 7 (1st October 2020)

The aim in this session was to separate the work in distinct dramaturgical units. 

  • ‘Air Alarm’: we represent two contrasting images that create a conflict. This opens the performance and tries to convey the clash between normality and reality.
  • ‘Water’: this electronic piece creates a big space that can be interpreted as aquatic, cold, like an ocean. We used the piano as a wall dividing the two performers. At some moments we could not see each other, which we wanted to develop further.
  • Text: we continued experimenting with the Attenborough text. This time, I said it while Rosanna tried to grab my legs and pull me to the ground until I ceded. We thought it was a good way of creating a clear conflict between us two. However, it needed further development. There is a fine line between tragedy and humour in some cases. 
  • ‘Grief’: the contact between Rosanna and me becomes tender and not hostile. The intention was to create an intimate moment, where both of us found each other and were not against each other. However, the actions needed to be more polished and clearer. 
  • ‘Vers la flamme’: I wanted to use a piano piece to end the performance and have a scene where there is a clear dance-piano duo. It is a way of showing the idea of ‘acting with the tools one has’. 

Session 8 (8th October 2020)

In this session, we tried out how it felt to go through the first three sections of the piece: the ‘Air Alarm’, a middle section where I improvise with the piano, and ‘Water’. We developed further the contrast between Rosanna and me. Still, we still needed to work on the intentions and dive into our characters by looking for the reasons for the actions we took.

The second dramaturgical unit we tried was ‘Grief’, where we were achieving slowly the intimate feeling we wanted to convey. We kept this idea for the next session.

"Air Alarm"

Note the beginning of the work on the contrast between the two performers: Rosanna's movements are more visible and almost desperate, as opposed to my rather immovable upper body and the walk in straight lines.


The idea of this section is to join the two performers in the grief about the incredible loss in lifes and ecosystems that the climate crisis is causing, and how big of a threat it can become to our civilisations. This is why we want to transmit an image of intimacy in this grief. The gestures towards the end are taken from sessions 4 and 6.

"Air Alarm", Piano Improvisation, and "Water"

We tried performing the three first dramaturgical units non-stop. 

  • 0:00: "Air Alarm": further work on the contrast between us two. The structuring element of the air is present in how Rosanna has visible problems breathing and finally fades away. 
  • 7:24: Piano improvisation. Rosanna lays on the floor and slowly starts moving. Gradually, she includes the 'watery' movements that appear in the following dramaturgical unit.
  • 12:12: "Water": we developed the image we had been working on in previous sessions. I take time for the action of looking at Rosanna, and I let her movements affect me. Rosanna's movement becomes more agitated, and I start playing the piano. Simultaneously, my upper body balances forward and back, similar to waves.

 Master Project:

Incorporating the concept of climate change into an interdisciplinary creation.

Dance-Piano duo with Rosanna ter Steege

(work in progress)


Due to the pandemic, the project has developed slower than it would have in pre-pandemic conditions. However, the performance is slowly taking shape, and we both agree that we are now giving form to the structure and the dramaturgical line (see “Insights from Rosanna ter Steege”) and feeling how the structure that I had thought out can be linked to the dramaturgical units we have been working on.

Last Section:



Session 4 - First Video

0:00: Warm-up using "Lux Aeterna", by György Ligeti. Both of us have the same energy in our movements, but each one expresses this energy in their own way, as can be seen.

0:40: Free improvisation using movement and the piano.

Session 4 - Second Video

  • 0:00: Text by David Attenborough (plain)
  • 0:25: Free experimentation with the same text. We changed the word order,  repeated sentences, changed the speed, and tried out different emotions that, in some cases, were not related to what the text was conveying. This helped explore all the possibilities that this text could give us.
  • 1:55: Addition of pieces.
    • 1:57: Piece "Air Alarm".
    • 2:15: Electronic piece based on an own piano improvisation.
    • 3:44: Piece "Grief". Note how Rosanna's gestures influence my gestures, and how the interaction builds from there.

Session 5:

  • 0:00: we used the Attenborough text and received directions from Laura Suárez.
  • 0:23: "Air Alarm" is included in the improvisation.
  • 1:09: Piano improvisation. The upright piano, as said before, serves as a division between Rosanna and me, and we explore the possibilities using this disposition.

Session 2 (fragments)

Session 1 (fragments)

Session 6:

  • 0:00: "Air Alarm".
  • 7:30: Piano improvisation.
  • 15:13: Introduction of the Attenborough text.
  • 21:22: Rosanna starts playing the piano strings.
  • 22:44: I join playing the keyboard.
  • 24:37: Piano improvisation based on the piece "Grief". We develop the same gestural material as in Session 4. These gestures originate the interaction between us two.


The contrast in this dramaturgical unit is originated from Rosanna's 'watery' movements, which become more visible towards the middle-end of the section. At the same time, we use the upright piano as a clear division between those two 'worlds'. My actions have the intention of being contemplative and curious about what is happening behind that 'wall' which is the upright piano.

"Vers la Flamme", A. Scriabin

This is the end of the performance. Here, the idea is to separate both disciplines clearly, but the previous dramaturgical unit ("Grief") influences the interaction. This time, both performers unite for the cause of acting against the climate crisis by contributing each one with their own tools, in our case, our own disciplines.

The piano part still needs refinement.


We begin on the floor because, in the previous scene, where I say the text, Rosanna grabs me and pulls me down to the ground. After this violent moment comes the reunion that we had worked on in previous sessions. This reunion affects the gestures as well: the actions and gestural materials are very similar to each other.

  • 0:00: ‘Air alarm’: it became clear that we had to find a reason for us to act the way we acted. The image was somewhat clear, but the expression coming from the scene was hurried and almost messy. The reason for me to walk was not perceivable. Finding the purpose for this walking remains an open question for the next rehearsals. 
  • 4:16: Transition: I grabbed Rosanna's body and put it behind the piano, as a way of 'hiding a problem' - the threat coming from climate change. The action still needs depth: the hesitation about taking the body and move it somewhere else has to be conveyed more clearly than what I did in the recording.
  • 7:11: Piano Improvisation: We stuck to what we previously had done: I played and Rosanna slowly started moving.
  • 12:28: ‘Water’: in this section, I spotted a few gestures that were very interesting to develop further. The main problem was that several gestures did not come across as clear, due to their short duration or not enough clarity. One example can be seen in the beginning: my action, which consists of looking to the side, can be developed and continued for a longer time. This helps narrow the gestural material down and gives time to the receiver to fully perceive the timelessness and immensity that the piece tries to convey