NMU Theatre and Dance addresses climate change through dance

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – Changing the conversation on climate change, the latest Northern Michigan University production “What We Leave Behind” addresses a controversial topic through dance.

"Our student choreographers worked with Dr. Jess Thompson and Jill Grundstrom, head of dance, to create original choreographed pieces of art for you to experience what the climate change conversation is about, and really focusing on why we need to take care of the places we love," said William Digneit, NMU Director of Theatre.

Dr. Jessica Thompson gave a TED talk titled "Let's Change the Conversation about Climate” saying the problem accepting climate change has been socially constructed. She hopes to move the conversation away from controversy and politics.

"Figure out ways to connect the story of a rapidly changing climate and our choices and consumption to meaningful conversations to people we love," said Thompson.

The piece is a collaboration of 34 NMU students and faculty from different schools and programs.

"This combines dances with multimedia aspects and live music,” said Charlie Edwards, student choreographer and dancer. “I honestly think there is something for everyone."

"I'm hoping that people walk away feeling confident that there's little things that they can do every single day just to help out the Earth and make this place a better, a better place for us to live," said Megan Hibbard, student choreographer and dancer.

Dr. Thompson says she’s humbled to see her fifteen years of research evoke an artistic performance to continue the conversation.

"The climate crisis is not as big of a problem as it is a window for us to live better. This show literally shows people how we can use it to motivate connection, and rebuilding, and opportunity with our community."

“What We Leave Behind” runs Thursday, November 7, through Saturday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the Forest Roberts Theatre on NMU’s campus. A free performance is open to the public on Friday, November 8, at 12 p.m. and a sensory-friendly Theatre for All performance is Saturday, November 9, at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $17 for general admission, $10 for students, and $5 for NMU students and available at all NMU Ticketing Outlets and online here.

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