Abundance Fantasies: The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat

Perhaps no Hollywood movie director and choreographer personifies the desire for abundance better than Busby Berkeley. His choreographies were wildly extravagant, the geometric patterns hallucinatory, and the props and costumes beyond anything seen before. His work oozes a profound and limitless desire for abundance. And yet we’d like to recruit his point of view as an instrument in our desire to shrink our footprint.

Since the very start of our investigation into shrinking the human species we’ve had a paradoxical relationship with the notion of abundance. On the one hand it is this desire within humanity that seems instrumental in the destructive relationship with our planet. On the other hand it may serve as a powerful argument for shrinking our species. We could shrink towards a state of unimaginable abundance. At a human height of 50 centimeters one banana would easily be enough for two dozen banana milkshakes. Berkeley underlines his abundance-sensitivity in the iconic choreography for The lady in the tutti frutti hat. Performed by Carmina Miranda, the song and choreography features 40 dancers carrying 40 giant bananas pointing towards an abundant future. There’s an honesty in Berkeley’s choreography of the deeply embedded desire for abundance that may teach us something on how to turn this desire into a powerful force to become a sustainable part of our ecology.

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