The idea of dancing our way to a sustainable future is instantly appealing.
Jennifer Monson describes herself as an ‘experimental dance artist’. Her interest is in exploring the use of the human body to explore the dynamic relationship between humans, art, nature and the environment.
In order to take her vision further and to support her own work, she founded iLAND – Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance. The aim is to investigate the power of dance, in collaboration with other fields, to explore issues of environmental sustainability as it relates to art and the urban context. The organization cultivates cross-disciplinary research among artists, environmentalists, scientists, urban designers and other fields.
In her first project, BIRDBRAIN, Jennifer followed the migratory pathways of birds and other animals while exploring their relationship to humans as world travelers and navigators. The project consisted of free, site-specific outdoor performances, workshops for students and the public, panel discussions on migration, navigation, and conservation, and a website that tracked the migrating birds and dancers participating in the project.
Subsequent projects have included collaborations that address the urban environment and issues of urban migration, human interventions in natural spaces and the dependence of local communities on local aquifers.
The idea of incorporating dance into multidisciplinary projects addressing environmental issues is no doubt effective in getting public engagement through free, public performances. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all dance our way into a rosy future.