Scene from the performance
The choreography in ‘Glacier’ is paired with video footage from the Arctic.

Diana Movius is a climate policy analyst in Washington D.C. She’s also a professionally trained ballet dancer and choreographer.

Movius: “Dance and environment have always been my two passions, ever since I was a child.”

For most of her life, her two identities have stayed separate. But as she watched a documentary about ice melt in the Arctic, Movius got to thinking …

Movius: “That could be something that would be translated to the stage.”

Movius created a ballet called “Glacier” for the contemporary dance troupe she directs. In it, dancers’ movements represent glaciers and floating sea ice as they flow, break, and melt. The choreography is paired with video footage from the Arctic.

Movius says the performance helps audiences connect with climate change in ways that scientific papers or policy discussions often do not.

Movius: “It’s a way to make something that feels far away or feels overwhelming just very immediate and emotional and sort of tangible.”

She says that artists and performers of all kinds can help inspire more people to get engaged and involved on climate.

Movius: “Anything we can do to raise awareness and just make the value of what’s being lost real to people, that in turn will translate into action.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image credit: Diana Movius ‘Glacier’ ballet video.

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Diana Madson

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...