Who’s at the Center? Susan Rethorst

Ensemble of Susan Rethorst’s 208 East Broadway. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

In January 2013, after recently relocating to Philadelphia from New York, choreographer Susan Rethorst met with Pew Fellows to speak about her own work and process. The retrospective project Inquiring Mind/Choreographic Mind at Bryn Mawr College, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, serves to introduce local audiences to Rethorst’s influential work.

Full bio:

Susan Rethorst, born in 1951 in Washington D.C., began modern dance studies at an early age. Tutorials with Judith Dunn at Bennington College laid the groundwork for Rethorst’s artistic sensibility. Since 1975, Rethorst has steadily created dances out of New York City. Starting in 1995, she has also been active as a choreographer and teacher of choreography throughout Europe and Scandinavia. Rethorst’s work has been presented by the Museum of Modern Art; The Kitchen; Dance Theater Workshop; Danspace Project at St. Marks; the Holland Festival; Spazio Zero Rome; the Kunsthalle Basel; the Aix-en-Provence Festival; and Jerusalem’s Room Festival, among others. A documentary of her teaching methods and philosophy is currently in production at La Caldera in Barcelona.

Rethorst has been the recipient of many grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1979–89, 1992–95), as well as support from the New York State Council on the Arts (1979–83), the Foundation for Contemporary Performance (1988 and 2003), the New York Foundation for the Arts (1989, 1993), the Ernie Pagnano Memorial Fund (1991), the Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation (1992), and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1999). In 2008, Rethorst received her second Bessie for 208 East Broadway: Suitcase Dreams, and in 2010 she received the prestigious Alpert Award.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2008, Tiny Dynamite presents theater works by contemporary British and Philadelphia playwrights in both traditional and unconventional settings.

Grants & Grantees

Greg “Peache” Jarman (1947–2009) was a musician and a 2000 Pew Fellow in Folk and Traditional Arts.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Rudresh Mahanthappa is a saxophonist and composer who hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ain Gordon is a three-time Obie Award-winning writer, director, and actor. From 2011–13, he served as the Center’s Visiting Artist.

Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, which traveled to London in early 2011, received media attention from a number of publications.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Nette Compton is senior director of ParkCentral and City Park Development for the Trust for Public Land in New York City.

In conjunction with its ongoing project Endless Shout, the Institute of Contemporary Art presents a conversation between visual artist Charles Gaines and poet Fred Moten.

Based on historical letters written by soldiers, the Rosenbach Museum & Library hosted an exhibition and program for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and their families.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Johannes Goebel joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2002 as the founding director of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

In advance of the premiere of Breaking the Waves, we invited Mazzoli and Vavrek to share insights into their artistic processes and inspirations.

Drexel’s Legacy Center worked with a diverse planning team to develop dynamic digital programming for teens that will explore issues of gender disparity and women’s history.

Thaddeus Phillips’ new bilingual performance work for theater, inspired by his experience working on Colombian telenovela Alias El Mexicano, premieres as part of the 2015 Fringe Festival.