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

Lucinda Childs is one of America’s most important modern choreographers and an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York.

Grants & Grantees

Cheryl Hess is a media artist and a 2005 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

“I’m interested in how personality is replacing gender in how people are defined,” says 2009 Pew Fellow Ryan Trecartin, an innovative video artist who creates phantasmagorical media installations.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Simon Dove is an independent curator and educator, and a co-curator of Crossing the Line, the annual trans-disciplinary fall festival in New York City.

The Philadelphia Flamenco Festival offers a free master class with flamenco master Israel Galván, star of the festival performance La Curva.

Grants & Grantees

David Brick is a dance artist, a founder of Headlong Dance Theater, and a 2006 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

David Lang is one of America’s most performed composers, with an extensive catalog that includes opera, orchestra, chamber, and solo works.

Grants & Grantees

Musicopia brings music education into schools throughout the Philadelphia region, with over 100 teaching artists presenting over 700 programs each year.

Grants & Grantees

Babette Martino (1956–2011) was a visual artist and a 2000 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2002 by two composers, Chamber Music Now provided the Philadelphia community with original concert productions.

Through the ongoing Center-funded project re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia, Painted Bride Art Center presents #PHILLYSAVESEARTH by performance artist and theater director Marty Pottenger.

Pig Iron member Dito van Reigersberg ruminates on past and present artistic influences for the production Zero Cost House.