SURGE: VIRTUAL SERIES FROM BOSTON DANCE THEATER
September 2 - November 14, 2020
This fall we invite you to celebrate the launch of the Sea-Level Rise Project with a series of virtually curated events about the ocean, environmental activism, and the role that arts+science collaboration can play in creating a sustainable future.
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SEA LEVEL RISE PROJECT OVERVIEW
"The upheaval that has been caused by Covid-19 is also very much a harbinger of global warming. Because humans have fundamentally altered the physical workings of planet Earth, this is going to be a century of crises, many of them more dangerous than what we’re living through now."
Bill McKibben on Mark Lynas’s Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency for the New York Review of Books.
In 2018 Jessie Jeanne Stinnett teamed up with ocean physicist Dr. Larry J. Pratt to envision a dance+science project centered around the latest scientific research on sea level rise and climate change in Boston Harbor. Initially supported by the Dancemakers Residency at Boston Center for the Arts and Boston Dance Alliance, Stinnett, Pratt, and the dancers of Boston Dance Theater (BDT) developed ‘Surge’ (working title), a performance work which enacts the salient factors of sea-level rise. The work also draws attention to the devastating impacts that general mean sea-level rise has on coastal and island communities over the globe. BDT’s Sea-Level Rise project aims to join a global effort of engaging artists and scientists in conversation, process, and performance in order to aid global transformation with regard to environmental sustainability.
PROJECT DEVELOPMENTAL HISTORY
In 2018, Stinnett participated in ‘Dancing With the Future’ a dance+science project with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Harvard University’s Program of Evolutionary Dynamics. Stinnett considers ‘Dancing With the Future’ to be a pivotal moment in her dance-making career and was the inspiration for initiating collaboration on the topic of sea level rise with Dr. Pratt.
Since 2018 she has spent a significant amount of time considering her own work as an artist and how that work can contribute to informing, bringing together, and building pathways for scientific consciousness within the communities where she lives and works. Stinnett asks: What can artists do to contribute to a global effort to create sustainable practices that yield cooperation with the future? What kind of impact does our dancing have on our environment, and ourselves? ‘Dancing With the Future’ revealed to her that scientists, dancers, and policymakers can successfully sit at the same table, tackle the same issues, and productively collaborate toward unearthing sustainable solutions.
During the winter months of 2020 ‘Surge’ underwent its first phase of development at Boston Center for the Arts (supported by the Boston Dancemakers Residency). The initial research consisted of Dr. Pratt meeting with Stinnett and her team of dancer-collaborators over a period of 6 weeks to explain key scientific principles of ocean dynamics.
Jacob’s Pillow (Beckett, MA), Vineyard Arts Project (Martha’s Vineyard), and Boston Center for the Arts (Boston South End) had committed to hosting the company for residencies and performances in the spring and summer months of 2020, but these engagements were canceled due to COVID-19 closures.
PARTNERS IN 2019/20
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Falmouth, MA) provides access to science researchers for interviews on the campus.
TEDxCambridge (Cambridge/Boston) presented Stinnett’s choreography for their 2019 salon at WBUR’s City Space, and is in negotiations for a 2021 event at Boston Opera House.
Brookline Ballet School (Newton) provides subsidized space rental for the creation of new works.
Boston Center for the Arts (Boston South End) provides 6 weeks of rehearsal space, technical and production support for an in progress showing, admin and marketing support for public workshops, rehearsal fees for the dancers, a choreographer stipend for Stinnett.
Boston Dance Alliance (Boston South End) provides a 3 day retreat at Jacob’s Pillow (Berkshires) including coverage of transportation costs, housing, per diem, and rehearsal fees for the dancers, Stinnett, and Pratt.
Hibernian Hall (Roxbury) hosts an immersive residency led by Stinnett for college-age dance students.
ARTIST & COLLABORATOR BIOS
PROJECT LEAD + CHOREOGRAPHER
(Main Contact for the project: email@example.com)
Jessie Jeanne Stinnett is a dance teacher, choreographer, and co-artistic director of Boston Dance Theater with veteran Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili. She received a BFA in Dance Performance from The Boston Conservatory and an MFA in Creative Practice: Dance Professional Pathway from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, in conjunction with Independent Dance/Siobhan Davies Dance.
Most notably Jessie has performed for the Metropolitan Opera, Tate Britain (UK), Prometheus Dance, Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna), The Boston Baroque Opera, and Bard College’s SummerScape Festival.
Her choreographic work has been described by Hannah Chanatry of WBUR as “conceptually driven performance that unpacks the complexities of being female, and pushes the academic boundaries of choreography” and has been sustained in part by grants from The Boston Foundation with support from The Barr Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Assets4Artists at MASS MoCA, and Fidelity Charitable.
Some of Jessie’s recent teaching and choreography credits include: Boston Ballet School, Dean College, Keene State University, Providence College, Endicott College, Goethe Institut Boston, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Emmanuel Music. She is the recipient of the 2020 Boston Dancemakers Residency grant award and will be the 2020 Choreographer in Residence at Boston Center for the Arts and Boston Dance Alliance.
LEAD SCIENCE COLLABORATOR
Dr. Lawrence J. Pratt is a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a B. S. and M. S. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pratt’s research interests include theory and modeling of ocean and marginal sea circulation and mixing, mesoscale and submesoscale instability and turbulence, sea strait hydraulics, abyssal circulation in deep canyons, and the use of dynamical systems and chaos theory to understand mixing and stirring at various scales.
He has collaborated on a number of dance and ocean science projects and public workshops in Boston and New York with choreographers Riley Watts, Courtney Peix, Jody Sperling, Mariah Steele, Alissa Cardone and Jessie Jeanne Stinnett. His extended arts and science projects have been presented at the Boston Science Museum, New Bedford Art Museum, Keck Futures Foundation (Washington, DC), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Boston Arts Academy, often with support from the National Science Foundation.
BOSTON DANCE THEATER DANCER BIOS: https://www.bostondancetheater.com/dancers
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