Aerialists at the Bots

Oct 6 2014 | By More

Embracing the environment @ RGBE

Visual theatre company Vision Mechanics, famous for its gargantuan Big Man Walking, is bringing new production, Embrace, to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh this week.

Aerialist Danuta Ramos. Photo: Daniel Lacasta Fitzsimmons

Aerialist Danuta Ramos. Photo: Daniel Lacasta Fitzsimmons

Drawing its inspiration from the woman who was the original “tree hugger” in 1730s Rajasthan, Embrace comes hot from a tour of forests in the North of Scotland. It combines aerial performance, traditional Indian dance, sound installations and shadow puppetry to looks at how individuals can effect change in the world.

In 1730, the Maharaja of Jodhpur wanted to build a new palace in Rajasthan, in India’s Himalayan foothills. A local woman, Amrita Devi, gave her life trying to protect the trees near her village from being felled by the Maharaja’s men.

Amrita Devi’s ideas were taken up in the 20th century when, in the early 1970s, women in India formed the Chipko movement, set up as an act of defiance against the state government which had given a commercial company permission to log trees.

Women in rural villages resisted, embracing trees to prevent their felling in order to safeguard their lifestyles which were dependent on the forests. The Chipko movement went on to play a significant role in influencing the government’s forestry policy.

Director of Embrace Kim Bergsagel, who also designed the production and performs in it, says: “With Embrace I was inspired by the environmental movements in India, but I also wanted to look at current issues and how we voice our dissatisfaction. I want the production to be positive and for it to encourage those who see it to feel that as individuals, they can take action to make changes.”

Embrace listings details

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Wednesday 8 – Saturday 11 October 2014
Daily: 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.45pm
To book go to

Falkland Centre for Stewardship, Fife
Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 October 2014
Daily: 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm
To book go to

Performance lasts one hour, numbers limited.  Not suitable for children under 8.
Further details on Vision Mechanics website:  or tel 0131 554 8923


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