World Premiere

June 23 at Sunrise

Pier 35
East River Esplanade
Closest entrance at Rutgers Slip
New York, NY 10002

Free with RSVP. Click here to RSVP.

June 26 & June 28 at 7pm

Melville Gallery at the South Street Seaport Museum
213 Water St
New York, NY 10038

Capacity is limited. Free with RSVP. Click here to RSVP.

All events in the River To River Festival are free and all are welcome.


ditch explores the interactions among the forces of gentrification; the history of community activism, especially in response to Hurricane Sandy; the current pressure of development that exacerbates income inequality; as well as the ecological interactions between the life at the edge of the island in the Lower East Side. The choreography is developed from the rhythms, tones and spatial inflections of movement generated by flows of people, the traffic, weather and water along the river’s edge. ditch accesses and creatively explores the embodied knowledge that signals both danger and safety. How do we sense impending disasters? How do we seek safe havens?

Exploring the possibilities of signaling through murky territory and dense movement, the choreography asks questions such as: What appears as a beacon? What is an orienting feature in an unstable system? The piece investigates squeezing and tightening as both a generator of movement and as choreographic strategy. The work aims to emanate an urgency and disquiet that drives the performer and viewer towards unexpected openings.


Composer and sound artist: Jeff Kolar
Performers/dancers: Jennifer Monson, Courtney Cooke,
Madeline Mellinger, Kaitlin Fox

Costume designer: Susan Becker
Lighting designer:  Ben Demarest


iLANDing: Researching Urban Ecologies with Movement Based Scores

June 23 at 11am-1pm,
Pier 35, East River Esplanade, New York, NY 10002

In this workshop, Monson and iLAND (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art Nature and Dance) will lead participants in movement based scores designed to explore particular areas of our local urban ecologies specifically at Pier 35. Participants will have a chance to dance, draw, and map based on their observations of the movement and living ecologies of the pier, including birds, mussels, fish, plants, humans and other creatures. The workshop will celebrate the living forces at work here, noting weather, human activity and the constant flow of the river and traffic on the FDR Drive. Drawing materials and light refreshments will be provided.

iLANDing is a practice developed over the past 15 years of iLAB residencies hosted by iLAND- interdisciplinary Laboratory of Art Nature and Dance.  The workshops will be accompanied by A Field Guide to iLANDing: Scores for Researching Urban Ecologies, a new publication that compiles 75 scores based on interdisciplinary collaboration.

Free with RSVP. RSVP here.

About Jennifer Monson

“My artistic practice is motivated by a curiosity about the way dancing produces knowledge and potential understanding about our immediate and time-based experience of life. Since 2000 I have used dance to research large-scale phenomena such as bird migration, abandoned reservoirs, aquifers and other watersheds. This practice calls on me to attend to that which is beyond the familiar and this is where the intention of my work resides. My choreographic interest lies in creating space and time for new forms to emerge from the practice itself, to make sensible the relations of live systems to one another.”

Jennifer Monson is a participant in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

ditch by Jennifer Monson is commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, developed as part of LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Presented in partnership with The Howard Hughes Corporation. Space generously provided by South Street Seaport Museum.