The mechanisms of cooperation aren’t your average inspiration for dance, but to hear Gloria Benedikt tell it, that’s sort of the point.
Benedikt, a graduate of the Harvard Extension School, is one of the creators of “Dancing with the Future,” a multimedia production that incorporates dance, music, spoken word, and science to explore how humans might cooperate with future generations in an effort to solve problems such as climate change.
The production will premiere Tuesday in Farkas Hall, and will later be presented at the International Conference on Sustainable Development at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“I call this a choreographed paper,” said Benedikt, who now leads the Science and Art project at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, of the production. “This grew out of an idea I had five years ago, when I was graduating from Harvard. I’d been trained at the Vienna State Opera and worked for a decade in the dance world across Europe and the U.S. But what I noticed with my academic work was that we were focusing on communicating through the written and verbal, although that comprises only 50 percent of communication.
“The two things that make us human are our ability to reason and our emotions,” she continued. “In the sciences we are conversing in terms of reason … but there are other ways of communicating that speak to this other part of what makes us human, our emotions.”