Hope Springs Eternal

Thu, Apr 11 at 7:30pm

This event has passed.

Hope Springs Eternal. As flowers bloom, leaves unfurl, and days grow brighter, the time is ripe to reflect, recharge, and redirect Winter’s lessons. It’s a time to consider our collective humanhood in relation to nature, understanding that we ARE nature. We are diverse ecosystems that have evolved and endured for eons. We yearn for love, balance, transformation, and justice; yet humanity’s connection to nature has been severed and numbed by individualistic and extractive culture. We are alive at a pivotal moment in history as the last generation that can act to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming. To love Mother Earth, we must reestablish a vision of harmony between all beings, realizing that our interconnected web is only balanced when there is justice for all. 

Mélange is elated to collaborate with Delachaise Ensemble, artist Heather Bird Harris, Climate Clock, and Rise St. James to present a reflective, multidisciplinary evening of dance, music, spoken word, and art to foster hope and stimulate collective action, as the climate clock ticks on. Drawing inspiration from author Willow Defebaugh’s The Overview: Meditations for a World in Transition, we explore a winding path back home exploring themes of reverence, balance, evolution, and healing, seeking guidance from the oak trees, whose roots spread wide to hold one another down. Hope Springs Eternal...but we don’t have eternity. Like the chaos of Earth’s creation, it is generations of humans confronting chaos that have progressed us forward with stubborn optimism in the face of devastation.

Choreographed and improvised movements will guide dancers to spring into action and immerse their bodies into natural pigments of the Earth, culminating in a unique live dance painting experience facilitated by Harris. The finished painting will be raffled with all proceeds to be donated to Rise St. James and their incredibly inspiring efforts and achievements in fighting against environmental racism and degradation in Cancer Alley, Louisiana. As Goldman Environmental Prize winner Sharon Lavigne stated, “I am the example that it does not matter who you are or where you live– you can take a stand for what you believe in, especially when it is the right thing to do”. 

Dancers: Adrienne Simmons, Cailyn O'Hara, Edward Spotts, Elyssa Fonicello, Lauren Saizan, and Nicole Buckels; Artistic Direction by Monica Ordoñez

Heather ‘Bird’ Harris (b. 1987) is an artist, curator, and educator who prioritizes caretaking and connection. Her work explores the throughlines between land history and ecological crises, engaging with communities, scientists, and site-specific materials to investigate memory, systems of complicity, and possibilities for emergence.

The Delachaise Ensemble is a chamber music collective of New Orleans-based musicians passionate about presenting accessible and innovative programs. Since its formation in 2020, the Delachaise Ensemble has been devoted to delivering genre-defying concerts with daring energy and excitement and collaborating with exciting artists, composers, and musicians in multidisciplinary projects. In addition to being the Ensemble-in-Residence with the Northern Neck Chamberfest in Virginia and performing with the 2023 Crescent City Chamber Music Festival in New Orleans, the Delachaise Ensemble is the featured ensemble for the Fever Up Candlelight Concert Series in New Orleans. From presenting programs from iconic and beloved classical masterpieces of the chamber music literature to innovative renditions of rock and popular music set in iconic and creative venues, the Delachaise Ensemble redefines the classical music experience.

RISE St. James is a grassroots organization rooted in faith, committed to environmental justice by opposing the spread of petrochemical industries in St. James Parish, Louisiana, and across the Gulf Coast.

Known as "Cancer Alley" for its high cancer rates, this area hosts numerous polluting factories, often near small and historically disadvantaged communities. Despite this, state authorities continue to plan further expansions. Under the leadership of Sharon Lavigne, who received the 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize, RISE St. James has mobilized community resistance. They successfully halted a $1.25 billion plastics manufacturing project announced in 2018. Currently, the organization is actively preventing Formosa Plastics from establishing a massive multibillion-dollar plant in the parish, along with other facilities that threaten the community.

Ms. Sharon Lavigne's guiding motto is "To love a community is to find ways to heal the community."

The Climate Clock melds art, science, technology, and grassroots organizing to get the world to #ActInTime.The project is centered on a simple tool: a clock that counts down the critical time window to reach zero emissions (our “Deadline”), while tracking our progress on key solution pathways (“Lifelines”).By showing us what we need to do by when, the Clock frames our critical mission — a rapid and just transition to a safe climate future — and puts it at the very forefront of our attention. Since its famous launch in New York in September 2020, Climate Clock teams have sprung up across the world from Chiapas to Kazakhstan, from Korea to Glasgow.

Photography: Kristina Ganssle

All proceeds from sliding scale ticket sales and raffle tickets will be donated to Rise St. James to support their work fighting against environmental racism in St. James Parish, Louisiana. A sliding scale is used to encourage people to pay according to their available resources. Those with greater financial privilege contribute more, allowing those with less access, to pay according to their means.
Covered costs include an equitable honorarium for all participating artists, discounted venue rental, and materials for the painting (at cost). Organizers’ time and original painting will be donated.

Thanks to Junebug Productions for modeling the ticketing structure.

No one turned away for lack of funds.

Online ticket sales close at 5pm on 4/11. Tickets will be sold at the door.

New Marigny Theatre

2301 Marais Street
New Olreans, LA 70117