Combining art and science to address the challenges of our time. A dancer’s perspective on BMC, by Kirstie Simon.

Kirstie Simon

Photograph by Harry Jordan

Professor of Dance at the University of Illinois.

In such tumultuous times, when humanity faces an uncertain future and we have a growing awareness that our perspective on life needs to shift dramatically, it is timely to grapple with the challenging task of educating a different kind of human, to raising consciousness and better equipping young people for the job of steering this ship through unchartered waters. 

As a dance artist, I am immersed in a dedicated ‘life-practice’ of Improvisation, one that radically transformed my whole being as a young person. It opened me up to the joy of an embodied relationship with life, allowing me opportunities to explore empathic relationships with others through moving together, and a deeper ‘felt’ connection with nature. It seems vitally important at this time that the arts and sciences are brought together in non-hierarchical structures of learning, paving the way forward to innovative processes for addressing current and future challenges. 

Black Mountains College is a timely and exciting project intent on making a crucial contribution to our collective predicament, offering visionary models of inclusive learning that are informed by the earth itself, seeking for potential solutions to what is urgently being called for. 

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