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Dance professor’s work is focus of new documentary

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Professor Jody Weber’s dance company is the subject of a recent documentary titled, Finding Heaven Under our Feet: Making Modern Dance. It will be shown at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard on Oct. 10 at 8 p.m., followed by a discussion of art as a means of change in meeting today’s challenges, including climate change.

The film’s director, Chris Engles, was familiar with Dr. Weber and her Somerville-based dance company, having photographed them over the past decade. When he wanted to make a documentary about the activism achievable through dance, he contacted Dr. Weber, who just happened to have a production – titled “Of Loons and Lilies” – in the works that addressed issues surrounding climate change.

“He traveled around with us quite a bit to shows, attended rehearsals, and spoke with students,” Dr. Weber said. “He was expecting the documentary to take a year, but four or five years later…”

See the trailer.

The film premiered in March at the Somerville Theatre, and subsequently included in this year’s Providence Film Festival. The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge also ran the film over the summer, as part of the Dance for World Community Festival.

The film provides a history of the modern dance scene in Boston, focuses on some of its pioneers, and also highlights Dr. Weber’s interest as an artist interested in climate change – something her work has focused on for much of the past 14 years.

“I’m interested in asking questions about why we are making the decisions we are making and why we are ignoring the evidence,” she said. “My work is in conversation with these larger issues.”

The conversation following the film’s Oct. 10 showing will include Dr. Weber; science and social/environmental policy expert, Bina Venkataraman; and Mr. Engles. It will be moderated by WBUR’s Lisa Mullins.

More information about the event. 

More about Dr. Weber’s dance company. (Story by John Winters, G ’11, University News & Media)

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