Faculty Profile Shannon Gillen

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    Shannon Gillen

    Shannon Gillen

    Contemporary Floorwork


    Shannon Gillen graduated from The Juilliard School and was later awarded a full fellowship to attend Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, where she earned her Masters in Dance. She is an established independent choreographer with a passionate fan base and commissions at prestigious national and international venues. In a 2013 Brooklyn Magazine article that named her as one of city's top twenty artists, Gillen was championed for her 'emotionally compelling' work that 'transcends the things it references and achieves a sort of platonic ideal of intelligent and elevated movement'. This past year she was invited to join the Johannes Wieland Company at the Staatstheater Kassel, Germany as a full time company member. She has since danced in 56 international performances and was singled out in the press for being 'in top form, a feat of strength' (HNA, German News).

    A prolific creator, Gillen has choreographed 14 new works since 2010 that have received national and international recognition. She was recently singled out in 2014 in the Brooklyn Rail for her 'fierce physicality and rigorous inquisitiveness in her work.' Commissions include: Treffpunkt- Rotebuehlplatz, Springboard Danse, DTW, The Joyce Theater, Dance New Amsterdam, HERE Arts Center, Judson Church, Tangente Theater with the Montreal Fringe Festival, PULSE Art Fair as part of Art Basel in Miami, the Joyce SoHo season and as a finalist in the The AWARD Show!, with LMCC’s Sitelines Series as part of NYC's River to River Festival, Bryant Park Presents, Festival Oltre Passo in Italy, The Juilliard School, and Jacob’s Pillow, among others. Upcoming 2015 commissions include performances at The Performing Arts Center, NYLA and NYU’s Tisch Theater.

    While working in Germany this past year, Gillen burst onto the scene with her solo receiving 3rd Prize in Dance at the International Solo- Tanz Competition in Stuttgart and commissions at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg and the TIF Theater in Kassel. She was also selected as a THINK BIG choreographer with the Staatsoper in Hannover, Germany and was in residence this August creating a piece that premiered at the TANZ Theater International Festival in September. She recently returned to the United States with commissions for NYU’s Second Avenue Dance Company and for the Purchase Dance Company at SUNY.

    Dedicated to the advancement of dance education, Gillen is also a leading contemporary dance teacher with a tremendous following of dancers in both the professional and higher education arenas. She is on faculty at SUNY Purchase College and also holds faculty teaching positions at Peridance and Dance New Amsterdam (Gibney Dance). She is also a guest teaching artist at The Juilliard School, The Hartt School, and New York University Tisch School of the Arts. 2015 will mark the fourth year of Gillen teaching at the Movement Invention Project at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, an annual program dedicated to developing the improvisational and creative skills of tomorrow’s contemporary dancers. This past summer she was invited to teach and create original works for programs run by BODYTRAFFIC in Los Angeles and Project Launch in San Francisco.


    Class Description:

    Class is a physical and emotional rendering of form. Activating both athlete and artist, we will begin by generating heat throughout the body via tactile engagement of the skin, lush body-weight conditioning, and grounding exercises that draw forth the body's natural liquid state. We will continue with floorwork sequences that explore the body's natural stealth and sequential spine-focused exercises that reference gyrotonic principles of stabilization through contrasting directional forces, curvilinear motion and breath. This training is simultaneously coupled with improvisational and awareness propositions that aim to awaken the senses and their direct relationship with the moving body. Emphasizing strength and stamina while supporting healthy alignment, the class builds into long and complex phrase work drawn from Gillen's latest research, affording dancers the opportunity to dig deep into the resources of the body while traversing surprising and challenging landscapes of size, direction, tone and texture. Sweat, surprise and full- bodied ardor await.

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