Jennifer Monson, Master Improviser

posted by Wendy Perron on Monday, Feb 11, 2013
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Monson in Live Dancing Archive. Photo by Valerie Oliveiro, Courtesy of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, August 2012.

Jennifer Monson has always busted out of the confines of a theater. She participated in unruly, sometimes hilarious improvisations at Danspace Project, Judson Memorial Church, and other downtown venues for years. A fascinating, feisty mover, she played with our expectations and perceptions. It was always an unpredictable ride. Then she got interested in the migration of birds, and left New York to spend years learning about birds, the environment, and animal herd instincts—and to improvise while learning.

For the first time in eight years, Monson brings her findings indoors. Starting this Thursday for two weekends, she brings Live Dancing Archive to her old stomping ground (and can she stomp!), The Kitchen.  The piece has Monson dancing along with videos of her decade-long project of dancing outdoors all over the world. An online archive of her research reminds you that this dance concert, co-presented by The Kitchen and iLand, comes with a goodly dose of education. —Wendy Perron