Jennifer Monson

30 Nov 2016


Jennifer Monson. Photo by Ian Douglas.

Choreographer and performer Jennifer Monson is the founder of New York City-based iLAND: Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance. She is known for using choreography and movement as a way of discovering connections among environmental, philosophical and aesthetic approaches to understanding our surroundings. As artistic director of iLAND, she creates large-scale dance projects inspired by the phenomena of the natural and built environments. Her project BIRD BRAIN (2000–11) featured the theatrical work Flight of Mind and four migratory tours: Gray Whales, Ospreys, Ducks and Geese, and Northern Wheatears. Each tour followed the migrations of animals, offering performances, workshops and panel discussions on navigation, migration and conservation. Other notable projects include iMAP/Ridgewood Reservoir, a yearlong research and performance practice in an abandoned reservoir New York City, and the Mahomet Aquifer Project in Illinois. Through the ILAB residency program, Monson supports opportunities for movement-based artists, scientists, environmentalists and others to engage the public in events that build their understanding of New York's urban environment. Her many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship (2003), a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art Fellowship (1998), National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer's Fellowships (1989, 1992, 1993-95, 1995–97), and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (1989, 1998). Monson visited the Center in June 2013 for a day-long investigation into compositional forms and structures with local dance and music professionals.