Peiju Chien Pott in Amaterasu by Slobodan Randjelovic.
Richard Move & MoveOpolis!

Herstory of the Universe@Dartmouth

a Hop Commission and Resident Artist
September 15 - 17, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 23/24 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

A choreo-ecology at the intersections of mythology, science and our natural landscape.

23/24 Hop Presents

The third installment of Richard Move's evolving body of site-specific work, Herstory of the Universe@Dartmouth, leads us through forests and fields, conjuring vital ecological issues. The title, Herstory of the Universe, refers to the resilience of Mother Nature and Earth's remarkable potential to renew itself. 

A previous iteration of the project at Governors Island was named Best Dance of 2021 by The New York Times, and now, Move is redeveloping the ambitious work for Dartmouth during their residency at the Hop in August 2023.

In addition to four dances adapted from previous iterations, Move has choreographed a new piece, entitled Trophic Cascade, that draws inspiration from the college's unique surroundings. The "rewilding" of the golf course, which was recently closed, can lead to a return of the land's natural habitat. Move's choreography evokes this triumph of nature, drawing inspiration from such things as the re-emergence of the osprey population.

The performance begins at the Dartmouth Outing Club with an Indigenous welcome song by Black Hawk Singer Bryan Blanchette, then wends its way from Occom Pond across the former Dartmouth golf course. Dance vignettes inspired by ancient Japanese, Greek and Indian mythological figures engage with local ecosystems.

Herstory of the Universe@Dartmouth will be performed by an exquisite cast of dance artists including Lisa Giobbi, Celeste Hastings, Yoni Kallai, Blakely White McGuire, Akua Noni Parker, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Suzzanne Ponomarenko and Aoi Sato, with costumes by Karen Young.

Watch the full performance here >
Courtesy of Richard Move, Ph.D.

Each performance culminates in a conversation with Dartmouth faculty that dovetails with the themes explored in the work. 

Fri, Sep 15: Ecologist and post-doctoral researcher Jessica Trout-Haney discusses aquatic ecosystems and Occom Pond.
Watch the talk here >

Sat, Sep 16: Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Bala Chaudhary discusses soil ecology and the golf course land.
Watch the talk here >

Sun, Sep 17: Senior Lecturer Matteo Gilebbi discusses environmental humanities and post-humanism.

Photo: Peiju Chien Pott in Amaterasu by Slobodan Randjelovic

Funded in part by the Brown Foundation Arts Education Fund, the Dr. John H. Carter 1946 Fund and the Charles M. Liddle III 1952 Fund Wetzel Family Fund for the Arts, the Melville 1960 and Leila Straus Fund, the Nathan W. Pearson 1932 and Sons Fund, and the Amy and Henry Nachman Jr. 1951 Fund for VPA in Dance and the Carolyn R. Kohn 1976 Dance Artist-in-Residence Fund

Richard Move, Ph.D. M.F.A., is a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow, NYPL Dance Research Fellow, TED Global Oxford Fellow, Artistic Director of MoveOpolis! and Assistant Arts Professor at New York University. Move's choreographic commissions include productions for Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project and two works for the Martha Graham Dance Company, in addition to numerous site-specific works created for the European Capital of Culture (France), Guggenheim Museum (New York), Parrish Art Museum, Cannes Film Festival, LMCC Sitelines Festival, and the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore, among others. In 2019, Move presented Martha@Terminal Barão Geraldo, in a bus station in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Learn more: www.move-itproductions.com 

Lisa Giobbi founded Lisa Giobbi Movement Theatre in 1991 specializing in aerial dance forms, and performs throughout the U.S. & Europe; notably at The Joyce (NYC), La Scala (Milan) La Fenici (Venice).  In addition to her company work, Lisa created and performed aerial dances for director Gerald Thomas's Diluvio and F.E.T.O.  (Brazil), director Chen Shi-Zheng's Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise (NYC) and The Classic of Mountains and Seas (China) and numerous productions with director Ildiko Nemeth (NYC), among others. She collaborated/choreographed/performed with MOMIX, Pilobolus and Martha Clarke throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, with St. Louis' Circus Flora, and was staff choreographer for NYC's Big Apple Circus, tours with the British band The Tiger Lillies, Daniel Ezralow & Friends, as well as for television specials, stadium events, worldwide benefits, galas, rock concerts, music videos, commercials, aerials for runway shows, film, cabaret, variety theater and off-Broadway theater. With director/choreographer Richard Move, Lisa created and performed Hamadryad, an aerial dance in a tree in Move's Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island, receiving a "Best Dance of 2021" nod from The New York Times. lisagiobbi.com  

Celeste Hastings is a NYC-based choreographer/performer, costume, sound, set and video designer, who creates otherworldly mysteries. Her work—both solo and group—fuses dance, theater, butoh and visual art with universal archetypes. Hastings' work has been presented in NYC, Germany, France, Japan and Venezuela. She is director/choreographer of the satirical yet existential group, The Butoh Rockettes, was a lead dancer with butoh group, Poppo and Gogo Boys, and worked with masters Akira Kasai and Yukio Waguri. She collaborated/performed often with Noemie Lafrance, many NYC artists and with Richard Move in multiple MoveOpolis! projects in the USA and Europe, including Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island in 2021.  

Yoni Kallai approaches life through play. It shows up in climbing a tree to rig for Lisa Giobbi and partner with her through a rope for a second iteration of Herstory. It manifests in performing partner acrobatics and perch pole with Angela Butch, his wife, with different companies but foremost out of The Muse Brooklyn. It is also quite literal in co-creating and operating the adventure playground on Governors Island as the head playworker for the non profit play:groundNYC. Aside from play, Yoni advocates and acts for repair of the world as a combat officer turned peace activist, children's rights advocate, environmental activism and joining forces with others for LGBTQ liberation, eliminating racism, stopping antisemitism and more.

Blakeley White-Mcguire creates as a contemporary dance artist in the lineage of Martha Graham as performer, choreographer, educator and author of The Martha Graham Dance Company: House of the Pelvic Truth. Her choreography and direction have been commissioned by The Museum of Arts and Design, Dancing Human Rights, Axelrod Ballet, Flightpath, The Ailey School, Movement Migration and American Dance Festival. She is presently a Fulbright Specialist in collaboration with COMEXUS. Blakeley's current collaboration with artist Daniel Fetecua, C.A.V.E.S. Project, brings focus to interdisciplinary intersections/crossing borders among languages, physical performance and the natural world.

Dancer, teacher, model and chef, Akua Noni Parker has over 20 years of experience in the performing arts industry, performing as a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet San Jose and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  Throughout her career, Akua has fostered her appreciation for teaching, health and wellness by becoming certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Teaching Curriculum (levels pre-primary through level 5), Zena Rommett Floor Barre, and has traveled abroad to attain a culinary certification to aid her culinary vision. Subsequently, she teaches ballet and movement workshops, and cooking classes around the world. Akua uses her artistic experience, knowledge of wellness and love of all things DIY to guide others as a health and lifestyle coach.  

Suzzanne Ponomarenko (she/they) is a dancer and choreographer living in New York.  They received their BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in 2012 and studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance from 2010-2013. They create dance work with their company Suzzanne Ponomarenko Dance which has been seen at Detroit Dance Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, London Contemporary Arts Gallery, Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place, The EVAC, Gibney Dance Center, Caras Alegres in Xela, Guatemala, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Space, to name a few. They have been the assistant choreographer and rehearsal director for Catapult Entertainment Inc., international touring company of America's Got Talent finalists. She has produced multiple projects including the Senior Care Project, partnered with Spaceworks NYC and Fractured Atlas,  A Chance To Dance in Xela, Guatamala, sponsored by individual donors and Fractured Atlas. In partnership with Gibney Dance Center, they produced the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief performance and with Fooju Dance Company she partnered to fundraise for Exodus Road, an organization that helps fight human trafficking in the USA. She has worked with Richard Move on many projects and her favorites including Martha @...The 1963 Interview and Herstory of the Universe #1@Parrish Art Museum.

Peiju Chien-Pott is a dance artist from Taiwan, a recipient of 2023 Choreography Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and described as "one of the greatest living modern dancers," celebrated particularly for her work as Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Her many awards include a Bessie for Outstanding Performance, a Positano Premia La Danza Leonide Massine Award, Capri International Dance Award and numerous awards in her native Taiwan. Ms. Chien-Pott is on the dance faculty of the Ailey School and a member of The Bessie Selection Committee, the New York Dance and Performance Awards.

Aoi Sato is originally from Chiba, Japan. She trained in ballet and contemporary dance at Liscombe International Ballet School in Japan before moving to New York as a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey School. During the time there, she performed Memoria with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also performed with Graham2 and Martha Graham Dance Company and is certified to teach the Martha Graham Dance Technique. Since 2019, she has been performing with Buglisi Dance Theatre at various events in New York City, including the DUMBO Dance Festival, Battery Dance Festival and annual Table of Silence at Lincoln Center. In 2022, she was invited to perform at "BALLET GALA in TOKYO" directed by Tamiyo Kusakari to support Kiev Ballet, where she performed Martha Graham's Deep Song. She has also worked with Suzzanne Ponomarenko Dance, demonstrator for Martha Graham Dance Technique DVD produced by Dance Spotlight Inc., directed by Miki Orihara and Suzan Kikuchi. In addition, she teaches at the Martha Graham School and the University of Hartford.  

Karen Young (Costume Designer) has designed costumes for numerous dance, experimental theater and video art projects in New York and internationally. Her design work for dance is included in the repertoires of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Kyle Abraham/AIM, Brian Brooks, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Czech National Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Miami City Ballet, Malpaso Dance Cuba, Lucinda Childs, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sonya Tayeh, Pontus Lidberg and Troy Schumacher. She also designed Wendy Whelan's show Restless Creature, Geoff Sobelle's Home and Third Rail Projects' immersive show Then She Fell. Collaborations with contemporary visual artists include costume design for the video works of Eve Sussman, Matthew Barney, Michelle Handelman and David Michalek. Her designs for Richard Move's Herstory of the Universe@Governors Island "… delivered some of the year's most enchanting performances—and costumes, designed by Karen Young." The New York Times

Dartmouth Faculty Members
Jessica Trout Haney is an aquatic ecologist and postdoctoral researcher in Environmental Studies. She studies ecological questions related to aquatic food webs, cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins, and lake water quality in the northeastern US and in the Arctic. Central themes of her research include understanding how cyanobacteria and their toxins influence food webs and teasing apart potential routes of exposure to cyanotoxins in the environment. Her current research involves using remote sensing techniques to develop predictive models of water quality in northeastern lakes, with the goal of improving predictions of parameters such as cyanobacterial abundance and cyanotoxin concentrations in freshwater systems. Jessica has a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Dartmouth, an MS in Biology from Villanova University, and a BS in Zoology and a BA in German from the University of New Hampshire. 

Bala Chaudhary, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College. She is a National Science Foundation CAREER Awardee and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Continent Scale Biology. Research in her lab focuses on three areas: plant-fungal symbioses (mycorrhizas), continent-scale ecology (macroecology) and microbial dispersal (movement). She uses trait-based approaches to develop predictive frameworks for mycorrhizal dispersal, community assembly and biogeography, and employs complementary approaches of macroecological field work, controlled lab experiments and data synthesis to study multi-scale questions in ecology. Her work spans dozens of ecosystem types and has applications in global change solutions including climate mitigation and adaptation, soil conservation, ecosystem restoration and sustainable agriculture. Prior to academia, Chaudhary worked as an environmental consultant in Los Angeles designing and restoring drastically disturbed urban areas to create habitat for endangered species. She received the Early Career Motivator Award by the Association for Women in Science and the Woman of Spirit and Action Award for her work on promoting antiracism in STEM.

Matteo Gilebbi holds a Ph.D. in Italian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master's degree in "Narratology and New Media" and a "Laurea in Filosofia" from the University of Urbino. At Dartmouth, he teaches courses on Italian literature, cinema, culture, and language, and also co-directs the Anthropocene Reading Group and the Leslie Center Institute "Affective Currents: Moving the Environmental Humanities." He is an environmental posthumanist whose research focuses on the connections between literature, cinema and philosophy, using theories from ecocriticism, new materialism and animal studies. His most recent work has been published in the edited volumes Italian Science Fiction and the Environmental Humanities (Liverpool University Press, 2023); The Vegan Practice (SEU, 2023); "Paolo Sorrentino's Cinema and Television" (Intellect, 2021); "Towards the River's Mouth" (Lexington Books, 2018); "Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies: Italy and the Environmental Humanities" (University of Virginia Press, 2018); and "The Carol J. Adams Reader: Writings and Conversations 1995-2015" (Bloomsbury, 2016). He translated two books of poetry by Ivano Ferrari, published in the single volume "Slaughterhouse" (Legas, 2019), and co-edited the volume "Italy and the Ecological Imagination: Ecocritical Theories and Practices" (Vernon, 2022).

“Best Dance of 2021”

The New York Times

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