Meg Foley

2012 Pew Fellow

1/5: Meg Foley, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/5: action is primary, Meg Foley, 2016. Photo by Tasha Doremus.
3/5: Meg Foley’s Cookie Project was developed 2008-10, during which time five different versions of the piece were created and shown informally. This version—the third—was shown in May 2009 at Susan Hess Modern Dance Studio in Philadelphia, PA.
4/5: Meg Foley. Photo by LBrowning Photography.
5/5: Meg Foley. Photo by LBrowning Photography.

“In my improvisational explorations, I achieve a state where my brain quiets and my physical sensations are LOUD. My body falls from action to action, looping back, distending, recoiling, finding tiny articulations.”

In 2010 and 2011, choreographer Meg Foley (b. 1981) inserted unexpected performance into ordinary life with her 3:15 project, in which she created a dance, wherever she was, every day at exactly 3:15 p.m. This project allowed her to think critically about what constitutes dance—an investigation that has evolved into the core of her practice. Foley explores how every movement, no matter how ordinary or seemingly inconsequential, informs a responding movement, and so on, in an ongoing creative feedback loop. Her dances are often marked by specific and small gestures, suggesting intimacy or speaking to the innate awkwardness of the human body. “I aim for simultaneous abandon and command of my body, surrendering control while scanning and noticing how an action evolves or transitions,” Foley says. “I notice decisions without interfering in their making. The dance is pure architecture and sensation.”

Foley is a 2012 recipient of the Philadelphia-based Independence Foundation Fellowship. Her work has been presented locally by the FringeArts Festival, Bowerbird, and Vox Populi gallery, and nationally in the Movement Research series at New York’s Judson Church, at Scripps College in Claremont, CA, and at TEDx Phoenixville. The whole time in the meanwhile, a new choreographed work made in collaboration with Chris Forsyth, a 2011 Pew Fellow, and light designer Lenore Doxsee, was presented by Thirdbird in January 2013. In the spring of 2014, Foley participated in TAPAS, a month-long collaborative residency culminating in a performance as part of Pasión y Arte’s 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festival. Foley has also received a 2014 grant from the Center for action is primary, which continues and expands upon her 3:15 project.


Grants & Grantees

A series of ten concerts featured eight Philadelphia premieres and two world premieres.

Meg Foley presents an exhibition of improvisational research and performance documenting up to 750 dances, which Foley performs on a daily basis at 3:15pm.

Grants & Grantees

FringeArts presented Australian dance company Chunky Move’s Mortal Engine, a dance piece that incorporates video, music, and laser performance with sound-initiated projections.

Ballet répétiteurs such as Parkinson work one-on-one with dance artists to articulate and find the essence of a character or particular portrayal that becomes distinctive to their physicality.

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.

The ICA presents Endless Shout, an interdisciplinary, multi-artist project examining the role of performance in museum spaces.

Grants & Grantees

Dorothy Wilkie’s (Pew Fellow, 2007) choreography involves the re-staging and re-choreographing of traditional West African and Afro-Cuban dances.

The Center marks the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts with a short film, released in March 2017.

Leading hip-hop artist Raphael Xavier brought together masterful street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music by saxophonist and composer Bobby Zankel for a contemporary circus-style performance in City Hall’s courtyard that paid tribute to the soul of the urban street.

A Fierce Kind of Love, a new play about the fight for disability rights, will be part of a series of public programs meant to generate public discussion beyond the disability community.

The Morris Arboretum is home to more than 12,000 labeled plants of approximately 2,500 types, several historic buildings, and a collection of historic and contemporary sculpture.

This month in Fellows Friday news: Alex Da Corte prepares for a major exhibition at ICA Philadelphia, and new albums from Orrin Evans, Mary Lattimore, and Chris Forsyth have generated buzz. We also say goodbye to jazz violinist John Blake, Jr.