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The Vibrations that Shake Us Into Sensation

Using dance, original sound scores, puppetry, and poetry, Murphy and her collaborators explore their internal rhythms and the transitional spaces between love and grief, life and death. The dancers and musicians work to illuminate the endless heart waves that fill the gaps that exist between the concrete.



Heartshakes is a performative practice that emerged from the intersection of anatomic and movement research. Dance, original sound scores, puppetry, and poetry help us ask how sensing our internal rhythms may bring us into relationship with others, no matter the distance. If you have seen my work before, you know I love the energy and collective creative illumination that happens when many people collaborate. This team is formed of half recent UArts Alumni (where I have been on faculty for 10 years) and half artists that I have a deep history making dances with - really, almost 20 years!! Rehearsals are hot and sweaty! We find boldness in our choices as improvisers and refine the pathways in which story and dance can open up to fantasy, mythmaking, and messiness.

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Event and Ticket Information

Friday, 9/1/2023 Showtime: 8:00 pm, 1hr 

Thursday, 9/7/2023 Showtime: 8:00 pm, 1hr

Sunday, 9/17/2023 Showtime: 2:00 pm, 1hr

Tickets: $25 General Admission, Pay what you can, $5, $25, $20 or Supporter $50
Run time: 60 minutes no intermission 

Where: The Icebox Project Space - 1400 N American St, Philadelphia, PA, 19122

Suitable for all ages. There may be loud music.

Tickets available to purchase at

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This work is partly supported by an Artist in Residence at the University of the Arts and my personal financing. If you are interested in helping support this last leg of rehearsals, puppet making, costuming, and technical needs please share or follow the link below to make a donation. Every donation helps!



Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy (she/her) is a dance artist/educator. She received her MFA in Dance from the University of the Arts and a BA in dance from Point Park University. She is faculty specializing in Franklin Method for dance at Franklin Method Institute, Switzerland, working alongside Eric Franklin since 2008. As an educator, she is committed to radical sustainability and develops curricula to reduce injury and support healing for performers. Shannon is an Assistant Professor at Temple University (Theater), was an adjunct professor at Drexel University, and assistant director of the Drexel Dance Ensemble, Stockton University, and UArts, where she was the Curricular Head of Body Pathways for 10 years. Her work has recently been presented at Penn Museum, The Painted Bride Art Center, and as asynchronous performance in the form of zines. Her choreographies span contemporary dance theater, musical theater,  and emergent improvisational scores. Shannon has performed for choreographers such as Charles Anderson, Nichole Canuso, Group Motion, Jaamil Kosoko, and Annie Wilson, and was co-director of idiosynCrazy productions alongside founder Jumatatu Poe.

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Beau Hancock

Beau Hancock (he/him) is a dancer, choreographer, and educator. He earned his MFA from Temple University, where he was a University Fellow and Rose Vernick Choreographic Achievement Award recipient. He also holds a BA in Dance and American Studies from the University of Kansas, and was a founding member of the Bowery Dancers, a Lawrence, Kansas-based movement collective. As a performer, Beau has had the pleasure to work with Shannon Murphy, Ben Munisteri, Douglas Dunn, Ellen Cornfield, Merian Soto, Nichole Canuso, Bronwen MacArthur, Kun-Yang Lin, <fidget>, and Subcircle. As a choreographer, he frequently collaborates with Eleanor Goudie-Averill as the company Stone Depot. He is an Associate Professor of Dance at Stockton University.

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Kayla Rickets

Kayla Ricketts (she/her) is a Jamaican-American black dancer born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts where her dance training began. She obtained her BFA in dance under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield as well as a minor in Business. Expansion, liveliness, and history are ideas that remain present both within her process of creation and execution. Summer intensives, including Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Dance Theater of Harlem have helped her to grow and expand on these ideas. Her work has mainly been performance based at Boston Arts Academy and University of the Arts. While in attendance at UArts she has performed in works by Katie Swords Thurman, Mark Caserta, and Jesse Zaritt as well as student choreographed works. She has recently finished working in process with Shannon Murphy and Netta Yerushalmy whose works premiered in late April.

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Michele Tantoco

Michele Tantoco (she/her) is a dance artist and movement educator in Philadelphia. Michele holds an AB in Biology from Bryn Mawr College. As a dance artist she has had the opportunity and pleasure to perform/collaborate with many choreographers and companies including Leah Stein Dance Company, Lucinda Childs, Sean Feldman, Siobhan Davies, Shannon Murphy, Gabrielle Revlock, <fidget>, Jumatatu Poe, Meg Foley/Moving Parts, Charles Anderson.

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Sara Yassky

Sara Yassky is a white, queer, trans/non-binary dance artist, somatic psychotherapist, and politicized healing practitioner in Philadelphia. They have collaborated nationally on creative practice, research and performance for the past 20 years. Their past creative work has been presented in Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco and they have had the pleasure of collaborating and dancing with various choreographers and companies including Sara Shelton Mann, Shannon Murphy, Scrap Performance, Group Motion, Meg Foley/Moving Parts among others.  Currently, Sara holds a private somatic therapy practice for queer and tgnc folks, teaches somatics with a focus of resilience and trauma, and studies practices of touch and aliveness.


mik phillips

mik phillips (they/he) is a white, trans, queer + fat multidisciplinary artist currently based on Lenni Lenape land (aka Philadelphia). he graduated from the University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield in 2021 and has performed +/or collaborated in works by Fana Fraser, Sidra Bell, Paul Matteson, Bill T. Jones, + Marguerite Hemmings, among others. they have recently presented work at Verbal Animal’s “Queer Noise”, Kindling, and Fresh Juice. mik’s work examines + lives inside a constant welling; a need for quivers, heaving, uncontrollable laughter, sobs, + indiscriminate violence guides them into creating temporary worlds that are maniacally unkempt and grotesquely forgiving. he aims to distort time, go elsewhere, all while exploring humor, absurdity, + intense physicality. mik is committed to expanding on, continuing, remembering, moving inside + through queer futurity through the lens of movement based practices, text, voice/sound, collaboration + enactments. he is on track to present a full length work, mike baby please with their collaborator Tori Breen as a part of Cannonball in Fringe this september.



Maris is a dance artist based in the land of the Lenape people known as Philadelphia, PA.  Maris began their dance training at the age of two in Mississippi and practiced predominantly under Kori Ross.  Maris attained their BFA in Dance at University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield in May 2023.  In November 2022, Maris presented their senior thesis, “I Woke Up Traveling in All Directions” in collaboration with their colleagues at school. They have performed in works choreographed by Sidra Bell, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Fana Fraser, Paul Matteson, Bill T. Jones, Netta Yerushalmy, among others. In Summer 2023, Maris traveled to Paris, France with Niall Jones and Sara Procopio, where they attended Camping at Centre National de la Danse.  Maris looks forward to performing Shannon Murphy’s “Heartshakes” in Philadelphia’s 2023 Cannonball festival.

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Brandon Graf

Brandon Graf (he/him) is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and wellness coach currently based in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated with a BFA in dance from the University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. Since then, he has studied various somatic techniques for the purposes of mental and physical wellness. Brandon now offers movement based healing through his virtual coaching business and bodywork. His interest in dance follows a parallel path by researching how dance functions as service to one’s personal development. Seeing improvisational dance as a way to heal and embody the desired traits one needs to fulfill their potential. Choreographically, he is interested in the intersections of dance and narrative based short films. Born from these interests he has created collaborative films such as The Poet’s Divination and Brenda and now works with a short film collective called Group Project. Brandon also teaches pre-professional dancers in studio environments sharing his contemporary and improvisational curriculums. As a freelance performer, he has been a part of projects by Boris Charmatz, Jocelyn Cottencin, Kimberly Landle, Paul Matteson, Bobbi Jene Smith and Shannon Murphy.

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Steve Surgalski

Steve Surgalski (he/him) is a musician and visual artist based out of Philadelphia.  He has worked with Shannon Murphy since 2005 on various dance pieces, installations, and showings. Steve is pleased to help provide the beats and atmospherics for Heart Shakes and is continually inspired by the process and these collaborators.

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