Velocity Goes Climate-Neutral

Velocity Dance Center will present its 22nd Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation July 26–Aug. 3 with two of the country’s most daring—and masterful—improvisers: Ralph Lemon and Jennifer Monson. And there’s another way that Velocity is showing its boldness: This will be the first carbon-neutral dance festival ever. So…what does that mean?

Eric Beauchesne, photo by Tim Summers

The person who best explains it is Eric Beauchesne, one of   Kidd Pivot’s terrific dancers. Having grown up hunting and fishing, Eric is passionate about making the dance field ecologically responsible. And he has the wit—and stamina—to convince us. It’s kind of fun and a bit alarming to watch his 11-minute lecture on the subject. He jumps in first position for an unnerving amount of time, admitting every dancer’s wish to fly. While getting exhausted, he tells us of his epiphany about how all the traveling he does as a performer releases tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. In striving for sustainability, he came up with this idea of offsetting the damage done, which often involves buying an equal amount of renewable energy.

When Beauchesne gave this brilliantly bounding lecture at SFDI last year, Velocity decided to take up the challenge. This year they have pledged to offset all the greenhouse gas emissions involved in making SFDI happen.

Jennifer Monson, photo by Yi-CHun Wu

Seattle is the right city to try this in. It's one of the few large cities that has already lowered it greenhouse emissions. And this is the right dance faculty to kick off SDDI's pledge. Jennifer Monson has long been dedicated to the environment while developing her amazing approach to improvisation. “My hope in doing this,” says Velocity artistic director Tonya Lockyer, “is to increase awareness as well as reduce our footprint.”

To register for the festival, click here. And while you’re at it, check out the Strictly Seattle Festival, with local all-stars like Pat Graney, Zoe Scofield, and KT Niehoff right before SFDI on July 24 and 25.


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