Moving Onward: The Delicate Interplay Amid Nature and Its Inhabitants

By: Abigail Reich '15

Advising Faculty: Lisa Race

This thesis studied the ongoing competition between humans and nature through site-specific dance. Herman Hesse’s The City was used as a loose narrative and was largely the inspiration for my research. The City is a fairytale about the cyclical development of a human civilization and its relationship with nature. I found The City to be not only directly relatable to my personal interests in environmentalism, but also relevant to our world’s current and controversial global climate changes, which has profound anthropocentric factors.

As a dancer, I have experienced the impulse to move in certain ways solely based on the space in which I occupied. With Hesse’s story as my inspiration, the expression of the human-nature struggle through dance brings forth questions about how humans affect the space in which they reside, and how the space in which humans reside affects them. These questions were explored through a site-specific dance work that views the site, the Connecticut College Arboretum, through a historical, sociological, environmental, and artistic point of view. This interdisciplinary approach to this site-specific work reveals the interconnectedness involved in the complex relationship between humans and nature, and this work has enabled me to combine my interests in dance and environmental studies.

This honors thesis may be read in its entirety at Digital Commons @ Connecticut College.

Related Fields: Dance