…As If Trying Not To Own the Earth

Riot Rye are the Spring food producers working with dancer Rita Marcalo on a project connecting dance and food growing. This new dance and food activism project examines our connection with nature, our role within our food system and highlights a need to reconnect with our bodies and with the Earth in a sustainable way.

Over 8 sessions in April and May 2021, Rita will learn how to mill Irish grain to make flour, ferment the flour to create a sourdough starter, blend different flours in order to create a nutritious loaf, bake a sourdough loaf at home, build an open fire and bake on it.

Rita will learn about the industrialisation of food production and its effects on people and the planet and how to regenerate a resilient food culture by feeding her family, friends and community.

… As If Trying Not To Own The Earth is co-commissioned by Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival and Dublin Dance Festival, in association with SIRIUS. Supported by Dublin City Council Arts Office. Additional support by Cloughjordan Community Farm.

An Instant Dissidence production.

How to participate

Follow Rita’s sessions with Julie & Joe week by week below and Rita’s sessions with seasonal grower Carmel Ennis here.

If you’d like to bake along with Rita and follow the weekly sessions, you can order all the flour and baking equipment you’ll need here.

Julie and Joe, Rita and grower Carmel Ennis will discussed the process as part of Eat the Streets Festival at Friday 18th June 2021 here.

We’d love to hear how you found the project, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

Baking kit for dance project

Watch the performance

Watch our live-streamed performance (recorded on Saturday 29th May 2021) here.

You can watch Rita baking in the first half of the performance and Julie and Joe perform the dance they made with Rita in the second half.

Week 1

We talk to Rita about the history of grain and milling, why we eat bread and what bread is and food politics.

Rita’s task for the week is to hand-grind the organic Irish rye grain she will be using to build her rye sourdough starter for her bread.

Rita sets Julie & Joe the task of researching the form of performance to camera.

Week 2

We talk to Rita about how she got on with milling the flour last week and how the milling enables her to experience the effort and energy that goes into producing food and consequently changes her relationship to it.

We talk to her about bacteria and the role bacteria plays in soil health and human health and closed loop food systems.

Rita’s task for the week is to build a rye sourdough starter from scratch.

Rita discusses last week’s dance task with Julie and Joe and asks them to explore content and identify elements: text, sound, movement, audience involvement, site, design (lighting, props, costume) this week.

Week 3

Rita’s rye sourdough starter is coming along really well.

This week, we give Rita a recipe and show her how to make rye sourdough crispbreads from the discard from her rye starter.

Rita discusses last week’s dance tasks with Julie and Joe; their investigation with text and movement. They also talk about the relationship between art and food.

Week 4

Rita made some beautiful wheat ‘n’ rye sourdough crackers. Her sourdough starter is now in peak condition and is ready to bake with.

We talk to Rita about the sourdough cycle and how to ensure her levain is just right for baking with and also how to store, maintain and refresh her rye starter for the coming weeks.

We share a recipe based on The Common Loaf which we’ve developed for this project and The Common Loaf video to enable Rita to bake on her own at home.

Rita discusses with Julie and Joe last week’s dance tasks: how they find dancing together as a couple, contact work and new locations.

Week 5

Rita made her first ever sourdough loaf and it was beautiful! What an amazing achievement – Rita is now able to turn flour, water and salt into bread!

We gave Rita a few tips on her baking and her task for next week is to repeat the process and skill up in her baking.

Rita discusses with Julie and Joe last week’s dance tasks and works with them on their choreography. You can catch them dancing at the end of this video…

Week 6

Rita has been practising her baking and she’s doing great! We gave her a few tips and her task for next week is to repeat the process and this time bake a loaf for someone else and them in her mind throughout her baking process and then give it them.

As part of The Common Loaf instructions, we always recommend that the third time you bake the Common Loaf, you bake it for someone else. This process of making and baking for another will improve your baking skills and nourish others.

Rita discusses with Julie and Joe last week’s dance tasks and works with them on their choreography. You can catch them dancing at the end of this video…

Week 7

Rita bakes a beautiful loaf of bread for the farmers and volunteers at Cloughjordan Community Farm.

Joe teaches Rita how to set and make her first fire (watch from 30 minutes in).

Julie & Joe rehearse their dance with Rita. You can watch the live-streamed performance at 7pm on Saturday 29th May. This is a free performance and you can book via the Dublin Dance Festival here.

Julie & Joe at Riot Rye
image by Gentl & Hyers

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