Susan Rethorst - Choreographer

Upcoming Workshops

Choreography Intensive, April 11-29, 2005, New York City

This choreographic intensive explores dance that does/effects/says what cannot be done/effected/said in another form, and what this implies in the day to day work of the choreographer. How can we use the communicative power of movement to its fullest? How can we approach sequencing not as order, but as alchemy? Explore working with unknowing, perceiving and taking cues from what you are making while you are making it. Investigate ways to work with patience, humor, spontaneity and rigor, and address how to keep engaged.

SUPA Summer Festival for Choreographers, June 6-July 2, 2005, Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

SUPA was started to provide more opportunities to engage in an in-depth investigation of choreographic practices. SUPA aims to stimulate and offer opportunities for sustained and meaningful engagement by investigating choreography itself (by its many definitions), choreography's relation to teaching and to other fields of endeavor, and by entertaining the questions ‘What does choreography consist of? What is it for? What does it do? Where does it come from in the body/mind?’

MELT Movement Research Annual Summer Intensive, July 18 – 22, 2005, New York City

Please click here for more information and registration.

Composition for Composition Teachers, 31 July-6 August, 2005, Bearnstow on Parker Pound, Mount Vernon, Maine

I teach from the point of view that making is an endless quest with ever shifting ground. I encourage an attitude of fueling work with one's questions, not regarding plans or themes as pre-requisites. I regard teaching as a conversational mode; my exercises are proposals in action. My plan for this workshop is to use my teaching simply as a point from which to begin to examine what comp teachers do. I am interested in giving students the ability to recognize and access states necessary to making work; intuition, perception, cognition, interiority, emotional distance, spontaneity, pleasure, will, reflection, humor.



Dance making takes a long time. I once calculated the amount of hours I normally spend, to find that it's 400 on average, sometimes as much as 500, in the making of a piece. And the first 100 or so get thrown out after they have served to eliminate and narrow and home me in. Daily work has to be seen and engaged with in the light of this. An awareness of where you stand on that time line is always present in the mind, but it has to inform and take a back seat, both. Dailiness is both necessity and blessing. (read more)

[published in Choreographic Encounters, Cork, Ireland: Institute for Choreography and Dance, No. 1, 2003 pp. 28-33]


In 1980 I made a piece that I titled Stealing. For the publicity, I had a photographer take a picture of me looking as close to Laurie Anderson on the cover of her recently released Oh Superman album as we could get and wrote STEALING across the top of the page. I sent a copy to Anderson on which I wrote 'They say stealing is the most sincere from of flattery - hope you agree'. (read more)

[published in Movement Research Journal, NYC, Fall Issue 2000]


Since 1975, Susan Rethorst has created dances out of New York City. Since 1995, she has divided her time between New York and Amsterdam, teaching choreography throughout Europe and Scandinavia and continuing to make work in both Europe and America. Rethorst's work has been presented by The Museum of Modern Art; The Kitchen Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Saint Marks, The Downtown Whitney Museum, among others, as well as at various dance theaters, universities, and festivals throughout the U.S. Internationally her work has been produced by The Holland Festival, Spazio Zero Rome, The Kunsthalle Basel, The Aix-en-Provence Festival, among others. She has ongoing teaching relationships with the Dansens Hus in Copenhagen, at Dartington College in England, and at Firkin Crane in Cork, Ireland. In 1999, she was the recipient of a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2002, she co-initiated a new post graduate study programme in Choreography/ New Media at the Amsterdam School for the Arts.