This strategy builds relationships and pedagogical practices that extend across disciplinary lines. At Wesleyan, co-taught courses coupled a dancer/choreographer with an environmental scientist who developed a curriculum that engaged students in the subject of climate change through scientific and artistic lenses. While engaging faculty artists proved to be relatively straightforward, engaging non-arts faculty proved more difficult. At some campuses, non-arts faculty could not be engaged in the project – not because of political or philosophical problems – but because of the advance planning requirements associated with modifying curriculum.
Partnerships at Wesleyan:
When the sequencing of the human genome was announced to the public, choreographer Liz Lerman of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange was one of many who asked what this would mean for the future. To help answer these questions, she developed Ferocious Beauty: Genome, a multimedia piece that explores the current historic moment of revelation and questioning in genetic research. The subject is represented through a plurality of viewpoints, mirroring a dialogue among multiple voices — artistic, scientific, and scholarly — in all their varied perspectives.
She began collaborating with scientists across the country who investigate genes and their function. Wesleyan University began to work with Lerman in science classrooms using various movement-based tools developed by the Dance Exchange both to teach science and to encourage our students to think creatively about science – an exploration that has been met with great success.
Pam Tatge continues to describe various effective collaborations/pairings of environmental scientists, choreographers and others during the 18 month project:
Read more about Wesleyan’s Science Choreography ›
Read more about this and other successful program strategies ›
Introduction of co-taught visiting artist series at California State University, Long Beach:
Browse the list of partners at Long Beach ›
Voices of campus partners at Montclair State University:
Wayne McGregor, choreographer, Random Dance Workshop:
Robert Whitman, playwright, Passport Workshop:
Robert Wilson, director, with Wayne McGregor:
Scott DeLahunta, R-Research Director, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance discussing the “task” of the work:
Elizabeth Streb, choreographer:
Michael Gordon, composer:
Read the full description of all Montclair State University artist partnerships ›
Get an overview of the artistic partnerships in the project’s final report ›