Dance company takes out the trash, littorally

Dance company takes out the trash, littorally

This dance performance is a piece of garbage.

Artichoke Dance Company will take to the sand with movement, drums and dustpans on Sept. 25 for an environmentally themed piece coinciding with an annual fall coastal cleanup day.

“I see a lot more trash on the beach these days, especially plastic,” said artist director Lynn Neuman, whose Park Slope-based group will perform “Your Planet: The Human Mapping Project” on the sand in front of the New York Aquarium following several hours of beach cleansing.

“I wanted to do the project on the shoreline because that’s where the problem manifests.”

Clad in costumes crafted from plastic six-pack rings by South Slope artist Olek — known for her captivating crocheted sculptures of bicycles and cars — six dancers will map the journey of trash as it leaves human hands and makes its way to the ocean. There, fish and other animals unknowingly eat the plastic, which has been broken down to microscopic levels. From there, it enters the food chain — of which we sit atop.

“Our bodies reflect the state of the ocean,” said Neuman. “Like the ocean, our bodies are made of water, and scientists have found traces of plastic in both.”

The public is invited to participate in the performance by playing instruments made from recycled and found objects. You might want to do your part and pick up a stray water bottle, too.

Plastic bags, bottle caps, and cigarette butts make up the bulk of what Bay Ridge resident Anita Cabrera removes from Coney Island and surrounding beaches.

“I’ve actually seen birds choke on plastic fishing line,” said Cabrera, a member of the American Littoral Society, which is hosting a beach cleanup before the dance company performs. “It’s pretty ugly.”

“Human Mapping Project” (on the beach at the New York Aquarium at W. Eighth Street and the Boardwalk in Coney Island, no phone), Sept. 25 at 1 pm. Free. For info, visit www.artichokedance.org.