Landscape (1989) (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Landscape (1989)

Dance and performance art re-examine humanity's place in the natural world

Landscape (1989) is a bold attempt to examine the world beyond the human perspective. Performers Ben Kulvichit and Clara Potter-Sweet hike through Oregon National Park but the focus isn't on them. Underneath and around them is the largest living organism on Earth, the humongous fungus, Armillaria ostoyae, covering 3.4 miles and almost 2,400 years old.

The production conspicuously lacks dialogue, while Kulvichit and Potter-Sweet move through syncopated cycles of choreography, slowing down to become at one with their surroundings. Landscape recognises that global warming will not cause the end of the world but the end of human history, and creating a production in which humans aren't at the centre of the story makes Landscape (1989) a spiritual sibling to Ontroerend Goed's World Without Us.

Each segment feels like a variation on a theme, with striking images multiplying to develop layers of meaning. Nothing is made explicit but the feeling of a symbiotic relationship suffuses the piece, which generates an atmosphere simultaneously intimate and massive.

ZOO Playground, until 25 Aug (not 20), 12.45pm, £10 (£9).

Landscape (1989)

  • 4 stars

Emergency Chorus As of 2018, the Doomsday Clock is the closest it's ever been to midnight. In an age of climate change and nuclear anxiety, we like to tell stories about apocalypse, disaster and endings. This isn't quite one of those stories. Combining text, choreography and music, Landscape (1989) is a slow zoom in on an…