KT Nelson on Climate Change and Choreography

San Francisco-based ODC/Dance will perform a work by choreographer KT Nelson entitled Dead Reckoning Jan 9 & 11, 2020 at The Joyce. 

Here, the choreographer discusses what’s at the heart of this new piece:   

Dead Reckoning is an invitation to see the ways our species ignores or forgets how we contribute to the climate crisis. A navigational term, “dead reckoning” refers to the process of calculating one’s current position by using a previously determined position, direction, and drift. In other words, to understand where we are, we sometimes need to know where we’ve been and how we got here. In terms of our climate, it seems we no longer have a stable current position to determine where we’re going.

Dance is by nature ephemeral—hard to see, easy to miss—and thus packed with the potential to activate our awareness of the present moment. Dead Reckoning invites you to notice and attend to those moments in the dance that perform forgetting and remembering, taking and relinquishing responsibility, accumulating indifference and practicing care.  

Towards the final quarter of the dance, you will hear the sound of falling trees. What interests me in this sound is the “free-fall” silence after the tree cracks and before it slams to the ground. It seems to me that humanity is experiencing this moment of void, a profoundly upsetting anticipation around our planet’s future. 

Dead Reckoning asks, What is the relationship between our interpersonal interactions and the way we treat the environment? Is the singular value of what is useful to me and mine at the heart of our environmental and social injustice? And what sort of reckoning do we have to confront in order to create lasting change and save ourselves? 

— KT Nelson, Choreographer of Dead Reckoning

See ODC/Dance perform Dead Reckoning in The American Dance Platform Jan 9 & 11, 2020.