Doris Duke Impact Award, 2015
Since 1975, Susan Rethorst has taught and created dances around the world. Her rigorous explorations of movement are carefully structured and reflective of the playful spirit and poignancy of humanity. In 2014, she premiered THEN, which featured projections of the dancers without a traditional projection screen, instead using brick walls or the dancers’ bodies themselves. She also created 208 East Broadway (2012), the last in a series of “living room” pieces stemming from her challenges with NYC real estate. Choosing to create each work in her own apartment, she examined spatial limitations in a choreographic sense and the role of space restrictions in the larger dance community. As a teacher of choreography, she has devised BA and post-graduate programs in Copenhagen, Cork, Salzburg, and Amsterdam. She is also known for her choreographic technique called “wrecking,” wherein another choreographer re-works Rethorst’s dances while they are in process. Her influential book, A Choreographic Mind: Autobodygraphical Writings (2012), was named one of the “best books of 2012” by The New Yorker.