A dance film celebrating the plants and animals that will be impacted by a proposed copper mine in Southern Arizona.
Rosemont Ours is a collaboration between NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre and artist/filmmaker Ben Johnson. It's a dance film venerating the plant and animal species that inhabit or migrate through the site of a proposed open-pit copper mine in Southern Arizona. If approved by the U.S. Forest Service, the Rosemont Mine would cover 14,000 acres of landscape, drastically affecting wildlife, vegetation and habitat, critical water resources, and human lives.
While the presence of such a mine is a complex and many-sided issue, this project aims to honor those species that may be most impacted, adding to the larger conversation about such developments and their effects on wholly unique and irreplaceable ecosystems such as this one.
By revealing the plant and animal inhabitants of an at-risk ecosystem through movement, Rosemont Ours invites us to ponder both the limitations and the power of our own humanness. The dances themselves are collaborative, many choreographed on site, based on research about the species’ behaviors, habitat and physicality.
Our 10- to 15-minute final video of up to two dozen dances will be edited, compiled, and carefully paired with an original music score by local musicians and will include additional information about the wildlife. We will share Rosemont Ours at public film screenings in Southern Arizona, as well as online, in fall 2013.
When the window of opportunity to put our artistic work toward this effort presented itself, we had no existing budget for such a project. We jumped at the opportunity, feeling it was too critical and timely of an issue to ignore. We are asking for your support to help us compensate artists (so critical!), pay for production costs, and fund screening events for the film.
By bringing together dance and video, this project aims to broaden awareness and increase our human connection a fragile desert ecosystem.
Thank you for joining the effort!
-Kimi Eisele, Ben Johnson, & New ARTiculations Dance Theatre
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The desert can be so very dry, hot, and thorny. On location, we have to constantly watch where and how we move due to thorns and potential scorpions and snakes! In terms of filming, we're up against the elements of wind and heat, which can compromise the quality of recordings and the equipment. But we are desert dwellers. We carry adequate water, sunblock, and clothing. We can endure and we know when to quit.
Another challenge comes with embodying the species themselves. In some ways, we are so limited by the human body--it's so big and slow and heavy sometimes! In many instances, we will have to find creative and meditative ways to capture the essence of the animals and plants, rather than their exact behavior. Sometimes we will fail. In one of our early shoots, for instance, we had three dancers as cottonwood trees looking like possessed women from a pentecostal revival. Um. Not what we were after. Thank goodness for humor!
Thank goodness, also, for naturalists, who've helped us understand the subtleties of the creature's movement, and for our practice in improvisation, which allows us to keep experimenting and enjoying the process until we land on the right embodiment.
Aside from these physical elements, our greatest challenge will be to get the video seen by broad audiences, including, we hope, those policymakers making key decisions about the mine. We are networking with local conservationists and environmental groups to ensure that the video is disseminated widely and to the right people via online viewing platforms and public screenings. We are also partnering with a number of other artistic efforts to bring about awareness of the mine's potential impacts, including Lens on the Land (www.LensOnTheLand.com), a group of photographers working to show both the human and natural resources that stand to be impacted if the mine is approved, and The Drawing Studio, a group of visual artists documenting the mine site via "en plein air" studies. Our efforts will dovetail with these to draw viewers to public events.
As project directors, we are fortunate to have an easy and collegial working relationship with each other and with our dancers. This helps us get through whatever challenges may arise.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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