Skip to Content

George Miles, Thoughts on Migration | #DancerInsights | Tilted Productions

Thoughts on Migration, by George Miles

The longest migration of any species that we are currently aware of is that of the arctic tern. On average, this medium-sized bird will fly 44,000 miles every year from Antarctica to its nesting grounds in Greenland or Iceland and back again. Over its thirty-year lifespan, this equates to about 1.5 million miles.

There are currently 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide.

In the studio we ask participants to build themselves a ‘home’ out of boxes and ask them what they like about them. The word ‘safe’ keeps coming up.

51% of the global refugee population are children.

Up until about 12,000 years ago, migration was the essence of all of us. For millions of years, our ancestors lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers, who would never settle in one place for long. Since the development of agriculture and subsequently modern industrial civilisation this way of life has declined to the point of near-extinction.

2,784 refugees have died trying to reach Europe by sea so far this year.

In a small town in Germany, the rain pours down as we travel from one scene to the next. People shelter under cardboard and share umbrellas. For a moment, we forget who is performing and who is watching the show. We share stories about home until some of us remember why we are here and peel away from the crowd towards the river. As we look across the water the sky boils and the thunder roars.

Wild salmon return to exactly the same river that they were spawned in to breed after spending up to five years in the open ocean.

There are 119,000 refugees living in the UK, 0.18% of the total population. Refugees make up over 2% of Sweden’s current population.

We were born in India, France, Germany, South Africa, Mallorca, England and Italy. Some of us saw apartheid, others barely caught the end of the 20th century. How did we end up in a warehouse on what used to be a US air force base outside of a small town in Berkshire? Oh yes… we’re dancers. Or maybe just human.