The Fourth R
The Fourth R is a powerful piece of contemporary dance and climate activism from Canadian group Dance Fachin.
Combining compelling choreography, and thought-provoking video projections; The Fourth R: reduce, reuse, recycle, Revolutionize follows the story of three individuals: a consumer, an affluent worker; a producer, CEO of Bank of Russia; and a sufferer, an impoverished individual, vulnerable to natural disasters. Each of these characters’ choices (and lack thereof) affect not only them but the physical world around them. Continuing Dance Fachin’s mission to create impactful work, The Fourth R: reduce, reuse, recycle, Revolutionize questions the effects of capitalism on our environment.
The Fourth R is an energized look into the people and behaviours that fuel one of the most pressing topics on planet Earth: global warming. The piece revolves around three characters who are emblematic of three major players in this crisis: those that produce, those that consume, and those that suffer. The spirit of this piece is in the fact that we are all reflected in one or more of these characters, and their trials and even shortcomings resonate universally. As a storyteller I’m always pulled towards capturing moments of humanity, and as a dancer I’m driven to make those expressions pop. Perhaps the most compelling objective for me as an artist right now is to positively impact social change, which is why The Fourth R is centralized on the discussion of The Green New Deal. Our story starts with our three characters on stage as if they are the first humans to exist on planet Earth. By the end of the first scene, they become who society demands them to be. A hardworking wealthy consumer, constantly enters and exits the stage with a new purchase. Each time she exits, she throws away her latest purchase and when she re- enters she has something new. This is highlighting the extreme way in which we produce waste on a daily basis. The piece then transfers to the producer, a CEO of an International Bank; the number one investor in fossil fuels out of all American corporations. He has the power to ethically hire employees and greenly invest his money but because of his greed, he makes obvious capitalist choices.
Then the story flows to our sufferer who we find sifting through garbage from the West. She uses this garbage throughout her day to make money and survive. She lives in a very beautiful yet polluted place where her government has turned a blind eye to people like herself. As the show unfolds, we see how each of these characters’ choices (or lack thereof) affect not only them but the physical world around them. The consumer has the ability to be less ignorant but puts importance on the wrong things. The producer continues to yell over top of people, dismissing the effects that his corporation has on the resources around him, he gets richer and more alone. Our sufferer loses her family to an environmental catastrophe. In the end, although not part of international law, she comes to the West as an environmental refugee. By the end of the show they’re defined only by their humanity and capacity for empathy. The Fourth R: Revolutionize uses one video projection per scene (6-7 in total), showing images, giving stats and sharing important information about climate change.
Choreographer and Artistic Director, Dance Fachin