Rosemont Ours: A Field Guide (2013) celebrates the plants and animals of the Santa Rita Mountains of Southern Arizona and its nearby riparian areas, featuring movement meditations of over 20 species—from Coleman’s coralroot orchid to jaguar—performed by modern dancers. The project was born in response to the construction of Rosemont Mine, an open-pit copper mine proposed by a Canadian mining company. If built, the mine would impact over 4,000 acres of land in Southern Arizona, including critical habitat for nearly a dozen species federally recognized as threatened or endangered as well as precious riparian areas and groundwater resources. By “replacing” plants and animals with human beings in reverential and playful ways, the film invites us to consider our role as both stewards and consumers of nature. The video is a project of NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre directed by Kimi Eisele and filmed/edited by Ben Johnson. An original musical score was composed by Vicki Brown and David Sudak.
As desert dwellers of the Southwest (Tucson), we are interested in the ways video and dance/movement can enter a conversation about conservation and resource use. Our project considers the fragile environs of Southern Arizona, investigating visually and kinesthetically the plant and animal species that depend on particular habitats to survive and thrive. While we recognize our dependency on copper and copper products to propel our ideas and ourselves through landscapes, we also question certain aspects of resource extraction—how it happens, where it happens, and by whom. We wanted to create a quiet reflection of this dilemma by bringing attention to the plant and animal species of the region and to use the human body as a way to tease out those questions. The result is Rosemont Ours: A Field Guide, which aims to venerate some of the species in residence here as well as to invite consideration of our very human relationships to those species, the land and its resources.