Latest ‘I’ve got an Idea’ Fund Award – Pigfoot Theatre

We are delighted to announce our first award of 2022 to the Pigfoot Theatre team for their energy-harvesting dancefloor project which will convert performers’ live footsteps into electricity to power their shows’ lighting.

Pigfoot Theatre is a carbon-neutral theatre company, dedicated to making collaborative, sustainable theatre about the climate & ecological crisis.

Their idea is to build an energy-harvesting dancefloor made up of tiles which convert performers’ live footsteps into electricity to power their shows’ lighting. The floor will generate
more power than the bicycle powered-generators (which they have been using) for less physical effort (a footstep, rather than pedaling). A small number of such dance floors exist but are very expensive to hire. Pigfoot’s goal is to create a set up which is highly modular and can be easily transported and installed without the cost of involving specialist technicians. This means other small theatres like theirs could afford to hire and use the tiles.

The idea of using a dancefloor to generate power echoes the main message of Pigfoot’s work. As Bea, their Director, explains “One person moving or dancing generates a small amount of energy, while a group of people moving together generates so much more. In much the same way, individual actions have a small impact in reducing carbon emissions, but collective action – or many people taking the same action – can create a significant, tangible shift in how our society
operates.”

Pigfoot team engineer, Jack, has so far created 3 prototype tiles with incorporated battery storage which they have tested successfully in one performance. They now want to experiment whether they can innovate a more efficient method of energy generation.

Pigfoot has already started developing one show, HOT IN HERE (a carbon-neutral dance-party), which will use the dancefloor. This show will hopefully tour in Autumn 2022, meaning that the dancefloor would be shared with over 4,000+ public audiences and participants in 12 localities across England and Wales.

We really liked Pigfoot’s idea and their team’s experimental approach to developing and testing ways of realising it fits the spirit of our fund. We look forward to a chance to experience dancing on their tiles at some point.

About Alison Kidd

Research Psychologist
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