Jennifer Monson
Jennifer Monson is a choreographer, performer, teacher, and dance curator who balances her artistic research and choreographic work between New York City and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “BIRD BRAIN” (2000–05), “iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir” (2007), the “Mahomet Aquifer Project” (2008–10), and “SIP/watershed” (2010) are projects by Monson that have radically reframed the role dance plays in our cultural understandings of nature and the wilderness. By bringing her work into outdoor settings and creating a framework for viewing it through workshops, panel discussions, and community involvement, Monson has found ways to re-engage the public in a heightened physical and sensory experience of the phenomena and systems that surround us. In 2004, Monson incorporated under the name iLAND–interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance and is now a 501©(3) organization. iLAND investigates the power of dance in collaboration with other fields to illuminate our kinetic understanding of the world. It is a dance research organization with a fundamental commitment to environmental sustainability as it relates to art and the urban context, and cultivates cross-disciplinary research among artists, environmentalists, scientists, urban designers, and those in other fields. Her current project “Live Dancing Archive” (2012) proposes that dance systems themselves are archival bodies for the dynamics of ecosystems and includes an online digital archive and video installation drawing primarily on “BIRD BRAIN” and other environmental works. Monson is currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of a new initiative of the Environmental Council. Monson is also a Professor at Large at the University of Vermont, a six-year term in collaboration with the Dance, Environmental Studies, and Libraries faculties.
Public Program