Man in Nature

Man in Nature

Live Performance

A Telluride Dance Collective Performance

Purposelessness is an original postmodern contemporary dance choreographed by Kelsey Trottier to a revised version of the lecture, Man in Nature, by Alan Watts. Alan Watts is a philosopher known for interpreting and bringing Eastern philosophies to Western audiences in an accessible way. In this seminar, he goes on to discuss the patterns of nature and how they repeat across vast scales. Watts points out how we have always been in need of artists to show us the vision and help us see things in a new way. To bring the audience back around, Watts then introduces the idea of “purposeless-ness” that is recognized in Eastern traditions and, contrary to Western culture, seen in an affirmative manner. We are often attached to “meanings” and allow them to confine and define us. This dance is an invitation to broaden one’s perception. The intention of this performance is to evoke thought and question these concepts given by Watts, and perhaps to allow the viewers to let go and surrender to our true nature.

Pico Iyer: The Age of Movement


*Iyer’s presentation will be preceded by a Telluride Dance Collective performance juxtaposed with a portion of Alan Watts’ piece “Man in Nature.”

Pico Iyer is an English-born travel writer and journalist whose TED talks on issues like stillness and the meaning of home have garnered millions of views. He has traveled from North Korea to Easter Island and Ethiopia, authoring some 12 books, including The Lady and the Monk and The Global Soul. To describe him as simply a travel writer, however, is doing him an injustice. That’s because Iyer’s meditative musings go beyond travelogue to offer illuminating observations on the human condition. “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves,” he writes.

In this talk, Iyer, who has personal experience with migration (his parents were born in India before moving to England, and he split a childhood between the UK and California) will address the “Age of Movement” that we’re living in. It’s a time when some humans are able to savor the global neighborhood as never before, even as the number of refugees worldwide has risen 4500% since World War II.

“Planetary possibilities are dazzling, and the discrepancies between privileged and less so are terrifying,” Iyer says. Looking at migration as it plays out in Tibet and other essential countries everywhere, Iyer will try to excavate the hidden potential within our new global imaginations — as well as the dangers in what too often resembles less a global village than a global city.

In Person:
  • Pico Iyer
  • Vaquita


    Film Screening — Duration: 25 mins

    In China, the bladder of a totoaba fish, believed to contain healing properties, is incredibly valuable — one can be sold for $40,000. When the market for bladders increased around 2012, it sparked a bonanza of overfishing for totoaba in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. An unwitting victim of this, however, was the vaquita, a tiny, charismatic and incredibly rare porpoise endemic to the area, which drowned in totoaba nets by the hundreds. The decimation of vaquitas prompted the Mexican government to ban most forms of fishing, and what has unfolded is a complex battle between fish mafias, local fishermen and the military. So far, few winners have emerged.