Jennifer Monson


Professor 

Jennifer MonsonJennifer Monson is a choreographer, performer, and teacher. Since 1983, she has explored strategies in choreography, improvisation, and collaboration in experimental dance. Through multiyear creation processes, her works have investigated animal navigation and migration (BIRD BRAIN, 2000-2005), human impact on natural sites (iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir, 2007), and communities in east-central Illinois dependent on the aquifer (Mahomet Aquifer Project, 2008-10). Her recent project Live Dancing Archive (2013)—which received a NEFA National Dance Project grant—proposed that choreography itself is an archival practice for documenting environmental phenomena. Her dance pieces have been presented in a diverse array of New York City venues including the Kitchen, Performance Space 122, New York Live Arts, and Danspace Project as well as other recognized national and international venues. She has received a Creative Capital Award (2000), a Doris Duke Impact Award (2014), and two New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Awards, among other honors. In 2004, Monson incorporated under the name iLAND (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance), which explores choreographic, improvisational, and collaborative strategies in experimental dance. This dance research organization upholds a fundamental commitment to environmental sustainability as it relates to art and the urban context and cultivates cross-disciplinary research among the arts, environmental science, urban design, and other related fields. Monson is currently a professor of dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont. Her current work-in-development is in tow, which investigates the nature of collaboration and experimentation across geographies and disciplines.

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