Doris Duke Artist Award, 2016
Morgan Thorson animates spaces and interrogates dance production by choreographing movement, light, and sound. She draws from many approaches. In Faker (2006), she used mimicry, narrative, and song to demystify practices within the dance field. Heaven (2010), a dance devotional, was born from extreme limitation, and used formalism to reach ecstatic release. Spaceholder Festival (2012) was an archaeological dig, excavating behavior and memory from the body. Like a discovered artifact, it revealed a layered story—part truth, part lie, part object, and part dance. She is a United States Artist, Guggenheim Fellow, and two-time McKnight Fellow who has been supported by NEFA National Dance Project and NPN Creation Fund. In 2015, she began Still Life, using time as a subject. This ongoing installation processes loss, killing, and extinction through movement and stillness. She is a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University, where she engages students and professors in interdisciplinary practices and develops pedagogy in dance, archaeology, and religious studies.