Pipaashaa: Extreme Thirst

Pipaashaa: Extreme Thirst explores issues of toxic industrial spills and the damage and “body burden” they cause. Our research examined the dumping of toxic waste in Cote d’Ivoire and the ensuing protests in Abidjan, as well as the efforts of organizers to address the soil contamination in Minneapolis’ “Arsenic Triangle.” Working with images of acid rain and falling ash, burned into the skin of dancers and interrupting their work, we explored metaphoric expression of the trauma caused by such pollution.

Images of madness and un-natural relationships in Pipaashaa suggest the physical manifestations of toxic elements in women’s bodies and the emotional, cultural, spiritual, and societal toll that ensues. These images reflected what our collaborators described as “the added loss of control, a loss of self-determination at a very fundamental, internal, microbial, level” that comes with toxic contamination.

Production images of nuclear rain and sludge and of gently falling grass enhanced the investigation of toxicity on well-being and effectively prompted dancers and audiences to understand the integral relationship between environmental health and personal health.

Work and devastation
Tragedy and rebellion
Working together towards hope