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Shannon Murphy

Artist and Educator


Artist Statement


I am a dance artist and educator that shares through practice, making, and performing. I create invitations for gathering to notice our complexity, differentiation, and resilience. These practices model possible ways of being through experiencing sensate, erotic, and imaginative explorations of one's own biology. My research is mirrored through improvisational methods that generate dance, co-narratives, myths, and tactile artifacts. I care deeply for collaboration and prefer to work in groups. I like to engage in long conversations as well as languageless haptic interactions where what is felt becomes a proposal for sharing what cannot always be seen.


"I'm working to decentralize choreography, but really that is a metaphor on how to decentralize power"

Shannon Murphy

About My Work

My dances dam off imagined environments, ponding strangeness. They are always in flux, demanding ecological shifts, building and unbuilding what is tangible or perceivable. I am interested in how pushing moves the pusher, not just the pushed. I like to repurpose the mundane into the monumental. I play with gross and fabulous interchangeably. I use resistance as a way to participate. I am all about a deep vibrating howl.

I have always felt deeply, empathizing until I was unable to differentiate where I ended and the not-me began. I dance to deterritorialize the terrain I inhabit - to dissolve the barrier between inside and out. I dance so that I can feel a world that makes some sense to me. It is neither logical nor linear, but it is always about survival. I often say I am unearthing something while I am dancing, asking for my body to offer me back memories and experiences so that I can build monsters and aliens with foraged artifacts that have been left in my intestines, muscles, and scars. Dancing is how I radically reclaim these parts of myself as sensational.

My practices use a deep and rigorous research of my body’s episodes, self-reflective of the past and potentializing the future. I transpose anatomical and biological research into the studio using it as a filter for how I investigate myself, my interactions with others and objects. I practice going in to propose a way for me to reach out. My dances teach me my own potential for being… being alone, being connected, being en masse, and I hope that they reveal something about the social, political, and cultural fabric in which we live. Researching pleasure within myself deepens my curiosity and empathy for others. I focus on interdependence and actively choose to invest in collaborative practices. My dances insist on a future where individuated collectivity purposes a model for sustainability. 

We barter, help, and heal one another.

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