Dance Warriors – Climate Change | Chicago Dance Photography

The Dance Warriors project is an artistic response to political and social issues, in collaboration with dancers across the country. This project started as my response to our changing political climate and my desire to make an impact for the better. This Chicago dance photography session took place just a few weeks after Trump won the 2016 presidential election.

I usually try to schedule a photography session when I visit home over Thanksgiving break. This time, I knew I wanted to do a Dance Warriors session in a particular part of Chicago. There were a couple of old coal plants that were set to be demolished. I thought they would be the perfect backdrop for a session about climate change. This is a topic that Kelleigh McIntosh is very passionate about, and we were able to connect thanks to the power of the internet. At our session, we talked a lot about climate change deniers and the negative impact they can have on the planet, especially when they are in positions of power. The fact that the coal plants were coming down was a sign of change for the better. However, the recent election left us less than hopeful for the future.

activist artist

Dance Warriors – Climate Change | Chicago Dance Photography

Tell me a bit about yourself.

Kelleigh Harman McIntosh graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance and Biology. She has performed works choreographed by Taylor Craver, Kiefer Otto, and J Lindsay Brown Dance. Kelleigh’s passion for choreography began to grow after premiering her work “Phantasmagoria” at the American College Dance Association. Since then, she has had the opportunity to present work at Eisenhower Dance’s New Dance Festival, choreograph for “Goliath” a dance film produced by Ben Richmond and work with Esoteric Dance Company through their choreographic mentorship program. Her goals as a choreographer include using movement as a vessel to explore an individual’s physical and emotional limitations through a collaborative process.


Why are you passionate about climate change?

Our environment is important. Its health and stability majorly influence access to basic human needs such as fresh water and sustainable food sources. Although scientists and climatologists are able to convey research of environmental concerns, those messages are not always heard or understood.


What do you think is the intersection between art and politics?

Dancers have the unique ability to communicate through a different type of physical and artistic voice. It is my hope that artists are able to spread information about climate change to a larger audience and promote the movement to heal our planet.



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No Comments

  1. Jackie Parr May 24, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    What great shots you capture of these dancers in the moment!

  2. Savannah Chandler May 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I love that you’ve found a creative outlet for your passions around dance and politics. The backdrop in Chicago against the dancer’s movement is a great juxtaposition.

  3. Jennifer K May 24, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    What a cool concept – love art that has an activism component! Beautiful!

  4. Kaleigh May 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I LOVE this concept and the execution was brilliant! I’m a climate change warrior myself- it’s our only planet. The movement you captured is just beautiful!

  5. Jennie Crate May 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    So cool to connect dance with the environment. you can feel the emotion in her movements!

  6. Brittany May 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    What an awesome project! Great shots! <3

  7. ginny May 24, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    So creative! I love how unique these poses are

  8. Kathryn May 28, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Love seeing more from this project! She is a beautiful dancer and you captured her perfectly!