Environment Dance Workshop

Erin Roos-Brown of the CFA writes in:

Jill Sigman, a choreographer that co-taught the Ritual, Health and Healing class last spring, will be leading a workshop for a limited number of Wesleyan students on Saturday, November 17 from 1-9pm. The CFA has commissioned Sigman to develop a new work titled “last days/first field,” which she is researching at Wesleyan. She is having an informational dinner for any interested students this coming Monday, September 24 at 6pm in Zilkha room 202 (second floor). Please rsvp to eroosbrown(at)wesleyan(dot)edu.

[More after the jump.]

Sigman’s project description:

I am looking for people to join me in an exploration that is central to my artistic process right now. I am working on a new movement-based work called last days/first field. The piece is about the small focused steps we take to make change in the world. I am looking for students who have been engaged in efforts to create change on campus, students thinking about environment and sustainability, students asking how to change the destructive practices of our current world, and/or students thinking about sustainability in their own bodies.

We will have an all-day experience together that is both a workshop and a part of my artistic research. It will center around the exercise/ritual of planting a field of seedlings indoors. The field will be our anchor. We will be joined by composer/musician Kristin Norderval and dancers from my company, jill sigman/thinkdance.

We will discuss your experiences trying to create change in the world (perhaps through venues like Wild Wes, Long Lane farm, WesFRESH, etc). We will also look at the significance of a field—politically, as it raises questions about farming, food, energy, labor, climate, and consumption, and ritually, as it signifies a certain connection to land and environment and demands a certain durational practice. We will also engage in a number of physical explorations around the ideas of duration and contemplation—how can we use body and voice to reflect and connect in different ways?

We will then engage in planting together. This will allow me to see a part of my new work take shape, and it will also allow us to reflect obliquely on the following questions:

What do we need to build sustainability– In our bodies? And in the world?

How does change happen?

What role does ritual play?

What is the connection between ritual and social change?

What state(s) do durational practices lead to? Under what circumstances?

What responsibility do we have to make the change we want to see?

NOTE: The workshop will involve pre- and post- workshop activities. Before the workshop you will read 3-5 articles by people like Michael Pollan P’15 (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and other works about the intersection of nature and culture) and Dolores LaChapelle (proponent of “deep ecology”). After the workshop you will take responsibility to shepherd 10 seedlings (tending them, or planting them on campus, or giving them to friends, etc.).

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