Susan Foster

Susan Foster. Photo from the “Susan Foster! Susan Foster! Three Performed Lectures” danceworkbook, courtesy of Jorge Cousineau.

Dr. Susan Leigh Foster is a choreographer, dancer, and scholar. Her book Reading Dancing: Bodies and Subjects in Contemporary American Dance (1986) received the DeLaTorre Bueno Prize for scholarship in dance. Her other books include Choreography and Narrative: Ballet’s Staging of Story and Desire (1996), Dances that Describe Themselves: The Improvised Choreography of Richard Bull (2003), and Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance (2011). She is also the editor of three anthologies: Choreographing History (1995), Corporealities (1996), and Worlding Dance (2009). With Sue-Ellen Case and Philip Brett, she edited Cruising the Performative: Interventions into the Representation of Ethnicity, Nationality, and Sexuality (1995) and Decomposition: Post-Disciplinary Performance (2000).

Foster began presenting concerts of her own work in 1977 and from 1979–88 she choreographed and directed Discordancers, a California-based company. From 1981–90 she taught as a member of the faculty of the department of dance at Wesleyan University. In 1990 she accepted a position as chair of the dance department at UC/Riverside and built the first doctoral-level program in critical dance studies in the United States. From 1996–2000 Foster held a joint appointment between the UC campuses of Riverside and Davis and she joined the faculty at UCLA in 2001. Her work as a choreographer has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with Choreographer’s Fellowships and by the Rockefeller and Jerome Foundations. She is editor, with Ramsay Burt, of the journal Discourses in Dance, published by the Laban Centre in London, where she is also an honorary fellow. In 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University and the Award for Leadership in the Field from the Congress on Research in Dance.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage asked Foster to present three of her danced lectures at the Live Arts Studio in Philadelphia in 2011. Dr. Linda Caruso Haviland was invited to introduce the performed lectures which became a launching point for the third iteration of the Center’s danceworkbook series: Susan Foster! Susan Foster! Three Performed Lectures.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Shannon Jackson is the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Arts and Design, the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Chair of the Humanities, and a Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

The PRISM Quartet presents new works composed and performed by Dave Liebman and Greg Osby.

In this collaboration, Meredith Rainey researched and developed a new work that explored perception through the vehicle of the famous Rorschach test.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Nato Thompson is chief curator at Creative Time. He served as a Center panelist (2008) and evaluator (2010), and contributed to the Center’s Pigeons on the Grass, Alas series.

Grants & Grantees

An original composition by jazz pianist Jason Moran was developed in conjunction with the exhibition Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt.

A number of projects from grantees and Pew Fellows have garnered extensive national and regional press coverage in recent weeks.

Composer Judd Greenstein speaks to changing audience expectations in “an era where people are deluged with cultural products.”

Flamenco purists may consider Israel Galván a rebel, though he doesn’t see it that way.

Grants & Grantees

Opera Philadelphia seeks to create productions of classic and new operatic works that assemble the finest international creative artists, and present a wide array of programming that educates, deepens, and diversifies opera audiences.

Grants & Grantees

The melody needs some dress. I cannot send it naked, so I dress it up with the harmony, you know?

Speakers Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby and Matthew Levy share their thoughts on record production and establishing artistic identity.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX unites distinguished choreographers with a company of world-class dancers to “forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.”