Watching homing pigeons swirling in the sky before alighting on the rooftops in her Brooklyn neighborhood,
began to see the similarities between her work as a dancer-choreographer and the bird’s movements. “A bird’s sense of navigation is like a dancer’s sense of location while improvising. Both have to know where they are, where they’re going, and how fast they’re going to get there,” she told AI: Performance for the Planet. From this private observation, Monson and her dance company set out on a migration of their own, a five-year journey tracing the northward migration of geese and ducks, from Texas to Canada, through dance. The project,
Bird Brain: Ducks and Geese
, lands in Minnesota Friday–Sunday, April 30–May 2, for free outdoor dance performances followed by panel discussions with artists, scientists, and activists, as well as a free film screening on May 2, at locations throughout the Twin Cities as part of Monson’s seven-month residency at the Walker Art Center. In addition, residency activities have involved area school children in bird-watching activities and educational programs throughout the school year.
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