Susan Marshall choreographs metaphoric worlds that often dwell at the intersection of several disciplines. Her work employs details of touch, initiation and gaze to explore the complexities of behavioral systems and of interpersonal relationships and patterns. The resulting dances are often densely woven, recursive, human in scale and speak to the negotiations of intimacy and questions of control, power, dependency and intention.
In recent years, Marshall’s dance-making has been driven by her collaborations with peer artists in other media. This has led to discipline-crossing work created collaboratively with visual artists Martha Friedman and Suzanne Bocanegra, composers David Lang and Jason Treuting, music ensembles Sō Percussion and Dither, and engineer Naomi Leonard. Marshall is drawn to the friction and meshing that arises when joining different art forms, each with their own unique histories, languages, processes and rules. Using the body as a way to bring these systems into dialogue, Marshall’s dances often expose the work involved in art making as both process and material.
The New York-based dance group Susan Marshall & Company has performed in theaters throughout the United States, Europe and Japan since 1985 with recent performances in NYC at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and Andrea Rosen Gallery and nationally at the Kennedy Center, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, the Krannert Center, Gammage at Arizona State University, Montclair State University, the Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago, Swarthmore College, and American Dance Institute.
Marshall’s many awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and three New York Dance and Performance Awards (BESSIES) for Outstanding Choreographic Achievement. Marshall has also created dances for the Lyon Opera Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Her work has been in the repertory of Nederlands Dans Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Pacific Northwest Ballet, among others. Marshall directed and choreographed the dance/opera Les Enfants Terribles in collaboration with Philip Glass, and provided the choreography and stage direction for Glass's Book of Longing, and for music ensembles Asphalt Orchestra, and Eighth Blackbird.
Since 2009, Marshall has been a professor and the Director of Dance at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.