Prepare to Swoon: Knitting in Performance Art

We knitters spot yarn and knitting in every aspect of our lives, whether it’s our clothing, a knitter we spot stitching away in the park, or an amazing yarn bombing. But have you ever encountered knitting on stage in performance art?

Check out this amazing performance that brings a whole new meaning to knitting as art!

I first spotted the Knitting Peace performance when a friend shared the trailer with all her knitting friends on Facebook. Performed by a contemporary Swedish circus company called Cirkus Cirkör, some parts of Knitting Peace are similar to Cirque du Soleil. But this performance is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Why? It involves knitting!

The two-hour performance includes not just acrobatics, but also beautiful live knitting that’s incorporated into the choreography of the show. The first time I saw the trailer for the performance, I was entranced, and I replayed it again and again just to take it all in. See for yourself:

Video courtesy of Cirkus Cirkör

About the performance: Knitting Peace

Set to live music, Knitting Peace opened in January 2013 and continues to tour the world today. After watching the trailer, you may have noticed that knitting is intertwined throughout the performance. Check out the set design and costumes, and you’ll see knitting there too. (Can you imagine knitting an entire set? I can barely finish one sweater!)

The combination of the knitted set along with live knitting makes the performers look like spiders, as they perform acrobatics across the stage, sometimes swinging back and forth on the yarn. At one point, performers even balance on a large balls of yarn — something I’m sure we’ve all daydreamed about from time to time.

And no, the yarn in the performance didn’t come from the local yarn shop! Most of the yarn used in the performance is waste yarn from a t-shirt manufacturer, making a large portion of the set totally upcycled.

Knitting Peace’s message

Though I haven’t seen this performance live (oh, how I wish I could!), many audience members — both knitters and non-knitters — have written reviews claiming the beauty of the threads brought them to tears. That’s probably because not only is the performance amazing, but it also has a thought-provoking message behind it.

Two of the questions behind the performance: Is it possible to knit peace? Can a worldwide knitting for peace movement make a difference? The company realizes that peace probably won’t come from performers swaying back and forth across the stage. Rather, the performance asks these questions in an attempt to start a discussion through art that will hopefully lead to action in the community worldwide.

How to get involved

In the spirit of the performance’s message of peace and unity, Knitting Peace put out a call for knitters. They’re asking knitters from around the world to submit a piece of knitting, along with a bio to explain your thoughts on knitting for peace. No need to be an advanced knitter to participate: Even beginners are welcome. Get more info on donating your knitting here, and your knitting could be on display at one of the performances.

Have you ever seen a performance that involves knitting? We’d love to hear about it!

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