Joanna Stone is a Brooklyn based performer, teaching artist, and researcher. Currently she dances with Dance to the People and LEIMAY. Inspired by her current environmental dance research, Joanna recently directed and presented Evolution is not Anthropocentric. Joanna has a BA in Theater and Dance from the University of Texas and an MA in Dance with a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University. She collaborated with Rosanna Gamson and Contradanza on Aura and performed in schools and venues throughout Mexico and South America. She was the editorial assistant for Contact Quarterly and is a contact improviser.
Efforts to maintain and protect the environment have recently gained notable attention. Scientists, philosophers, educators and artists, among many others, have initiated positive actions that seek to change the ways that humans relate to the ecosystem. As well, members within the dance community have inadvertently established new movement values that seek to promote and encourage ecological balance. New ideologies in environmental ethics support a non-anthropocentric value theory that recognises the intrinsic value of all species to the function of an ecosystem. In this paper I show that environmental dance can be an artistic experience in nature that upholds contemporary environmental ethical values. I evaluate past personal choreographic choices, examine movers who explore the concept of ecocentrism in somatic practice, and present a possible ideology for environmental dance artists rooted in the act of ‘listening’. The role of aesthetics as a philosophy for art and nature and how it applies to social art making and environmental ethics is explored.