“Jody’s week-long campus residency beautifully illustrated the connections that exist between sustainability and the arts. Her programming engaged folks from a variety of disciplines in deep discussion and reflection about the impacts of climate change and prompted individuals to consider the role that the arts, and dance more specifically, can play in climate action.” –Levi Rogers, Sustainability Coordinator, Skidmore College

Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance offers unique residency programs for colleges and universities which bring together dance practices with climate change outreach. Sperling’s climate-focused work has brought dancing to the melting polar ice cap, busy city streets and stages around the world. Sperling tailors residencies to suit the needs of each particular institution with offerings including company performances, setting repertory or creating new works for students, curating panel discussions, teaching masterclasses, giving lectures, initiating cross-disciplinary collaborations and more. Residencies create deeply meaningful and memorable experiences for students as they practice cultivating an awareness of the dynamic relationship between their dancing selves and the world they inhabit. Residencies goals include:

  • creating connections for students between dance, climate science and activism
  • understanding personal impacts of climate change
  • stimulating cross-disciplinary thinking and doing
  • exploring the dynamic relationship between the body and environment
  • showing how dance can be a vehicle for social change

Sample Residency 1: Brenau University

brenau-1 This two-week residency focused on student creation and performance of Ice Cycle, a work inspired by Sperling’s experience dancing in the Arctic. Students learned about climate change’s causes and impactsas they embodied, through choreographic structures, the geophysical processes of sea ice formation and melting. The residency culminated in the students’ public performance in Gainsville’s Downtown Center. The program included an inter-disciplinary panel with the Dean of the College, the Director of Sustainability, and professors from Biology and Dance. Throughout the residency, Sperling taught modern technique, introducing her Fractal Pathways method which cultivates students’ awareness of their bodies relationship with the environment. Lastly, Sperling made many class visits and delivered a lecture about her experience on a polar science mission. You can read articles about the residency and listen to Sperling on the local radio station HERE.

Sample Residency 2: Skidmore College

Skidmore - 1 v2This multi-pronged weeklong residency was co-sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and Dance Department. Sperling led a site-specific composition workshop for students which culminated in a campus performance. The work focused on enhancing awareness of their dancing bodies in relation to larger ecological systems. Sperling also facilitated a public panel on Arts, Climate Change and Activism with professors from Environmental Science and Dance. Sperling’s residency touched multiple departments and included such activities as visiting a solar energy plant with environmental studies students and lecturing on dance-environmental activism for a core humanities seminar. In addition, she taught composition and modern classes, introducing her Fractal Pathways method, using ecological concepts to stimulate dancemaking. You can read about Sperling’s residency HERE.

Sample Residency 3: Hunter College, Arts Across the Curriculum

01_MG_7984Funded by The Mellon Foundation, the prestigious Arts Across the Curriculum initiative at Hunter College brought Jody Sperling and Time Lapse Dance to campus for a full-company performance of Bringing Home the Arctic. Expressing the dynamism and fragility of sea ice, this impactful program transports the polar icescape to the stage and helps make the drastic changes happening in far-flung regions feel more immediate. Deirdre Towers (Dance Enthusiast) calls the work “chillingly apt.” The residency also included a masterclass and an interdisciplinary panel discussion featuring Sperling alongside professors from the Environmental Science and Anthropology Departments.