John Jasperse

John Jasperse graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1985, and then moved to New York City to live and work. He is Artistic Director/Choreographer of John Jasperse Projects. In 1996, Jasperse created Thin Man Dance, Inc., a New York-based not-for-profit organization; this structure supports the work of John Jasperse. His work has been presented by festivals and presenting organizations in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Japan, Russia and throughout Europe.

Over recent years, Jasperse's work has been awarded several prestigious awards both in the United States and abroad, including a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, two New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Awards (in 2014 for Outstanding Production for Within between and in 2001 in recognition of his body of choreographic work), the 1999 Scripps/ADF Primus-Tamaris Fellowship, the Doris Duke Award (1998), the 1997 Mouson Award by Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt, Germany; three prizes in the 1996 Rencontres Internationales Chorégraphiques de Bagnolet; and the Choreography Prize at the 3rd Suzanne Dellal International Dance Competition (1996) in Tel Aviv, Israel for Excessories.

Under the umbrella of Thin Man Dance, Jasperse has created several works for other companies: See Through Knot, commissioned by the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation for White Oak’s Dance Project (2000); The Rest, commissioned by the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel (2000); à double face for the Lyon Opéra Ballet, France (March 2002); missed FIT for The Irish Modern Dance Theater, Dublin, Ireland (October 2002), and most recently Highline, as part of the Montana Suite Project for Headwaters Dance Company, Missoula, MT.

Jasperse's choreographic work has been supported by fellowships from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2003), the Tides Foundation’s Lambent Fellowship in the Arts (2004-2007), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1998), the National Endowment for the Arts (1992, 1994, 1995-96) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (1988, 1994 and 2000). In addition to numerous commissions for new works, Jasperse’ work and the Company have also been supported by grants from Altria Group, Inc., American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Arts International, Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, Dance Magazine Foundation, Fonds d'Aide à la Production Chorégraphique du Conseil Général de Seine-Saint-Denis (France), Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Greenwall Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Heathcote Art Foundation, Jerome Foundation, James E. Robison Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer, the Multi-Arts Production Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts BUILD program, New York State Council on the Arts, the Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund, established in The New York Community Trust by the founders of The Reader’s Digest Association, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Since 1991, he has regularly taught workshops and classes in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and Brazil. As a dancer/performer, he began his career working with Lisa Kraus and Dancers (1985-1987), creating original roles in four works, and performing in the US and Europe. In 1988 and 1989, he worked in Belgium with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's Rosas, performing in Ottone, Ottone in major festivals and venues through Europe. From 1987 to 1993, he worked with Jennifer Monson, both performing in her work and collaborating on improvisation projects.

Visiting Artist | March 27 - April 10, 2016


Choreographer John Jasperse returned for his second MANCC residency to develop Remains an evening-length work looking at alternative ways of considering legacy and what artists wish to leave behind through their work. Developed in collaboration with performers Maggie Cloud, Marc Crousillat, Burr Johnson, Heather Lang, Stuart Singer, and Claire Westby, and composer John King, Video Designer Jeff Larson, and Lighting Designer Lenore Doxsee, the project marks the first collaboration between Jasperse, King, and Larson.

Speaking of the work’s underlying impulses, Jasperse says: “We often act as if our self is isolated, beginning and ending in space with our skin, and in time with our birth and death. We make our mark whether our names are written in some subjective history book or not.” Remains explores a notion of legacy as waves that ripple outwards from one's actions, where the boundaries of self are fluid and permeate one’s surroundings. In this view, we are all an integral part of what results from our actions.

Taking inspiration for process and structure from T.S. Elliot’s "Four Quartets," Remains attempts to “fold time back upon itself” through cross medium interchange. The organization of time passes between movement, musical sound and projected image, cycling between the three media. The work examines connections and oppositions to early modernist pioneers and how the radicalism of that seminal work might be adapted in order to respond to our own early 21st century context.

While at MANCC, Jasperse hosted a panel discussion with FSU professors Jawole Zollar (Dance), Julietta Cheung (Art), and Dr. Denise Von Glahn (Historical Musicology) on the efficacy of art in the ethical and political domains. Additionally, a  draft of the work was shared with students and general public during a School of Dance Open Forum. Remains, premiered July 5-7, 2016 at the American Dance Festival.

  • Jeff Larson films Claire Westby in rehearsal for <i> Remains </i>
  • Claire Westby in rehearsal for <i> Remains </i>
  • John Jasperse and Video Designer Jeff Larson discuss the project
  • Stuart Singer and Claire Westby in rehearsal
  • Public work-in-progress showing of John Jasperse's project <i> Remains </i>
  • Heather Lang, Maggie Cloud, and Marc Crousillat in rehearsal
  • Marc Crousillat, Claire Westby, Heather Lang, Maggie Cloud, and Stuart Singer in rehearsal
  • Burr Johnson, Maggie Cloud, Claire Westby, Heather Lang, Marc Crousillat, and Stuart Singer in rehearsal
  • Heather Lang, Claire Westby, and Maggie Cloud in rehearsal
  • Stuart Singer and Heather Lang in rehearsal for <i> Remains </i>
  • Open discussion that followed the public showing of John Jasperse's project <i> Remains </i>
  • Maggie Cloud, Burr Johnson, Marc Crousillat, and Stuart Singer in rehearsal
  • Heather Lang, Burr Johnson, Claire Westby, Stuart Singer, and Marc Crousillat in rehearsal
  • John Jasperse discusses rehearsal of <i> Remains </i> with Maggie Cloud, Heather Lang, and Stuart Singer
  • Burr Johnson in rehearsal for <i> Remains </i>
  • Burr Johnson in rehearsal for <i> Remains </i>
  • John Jasperse directs rehearsal of his project <i> Remains </i>
  • Panel discussion for John Jasperse's project <i> Remains </i>
  • Claire Westby and Maggie Cloud in rehearsal for <i> Remains </i>
  • Claire Westby, Heather Lang, and Maggie Cloud in rehearsal
  • John Jasperse leads Burr Johnson in rehearsal
  • Burr Johnson in rehearsal for <i> Remains </i>
  • Heather Lang and Claire Westby in rehearsal
  • Stuart Singer and Maggie Cloud in rehearsal

Collaborators in Residence: Maggie Cloud, Marc Crousillat, Burr Johnson, Heather Lang, Stuart Singer, and Claire Westby [Dancers], Jeff Larson [Video Designer]

Visiting Artist | June 12 - 26, 2011


Jasperse continued developing Canyon with his exceptional cast of collaborators. Using generative ideas including “engineered confusion, alternating sensory overload and spaciousness, fractured connectivity, and rapture, Canyon centers on the transformative power of losing oneself in visceral experience, where the supremacy of the intellect is humbled through experience into a state of wonder.” The work features an original composition by internationally reknowned musician and composer Hahn Rowe as well as a visual design made in collaboration with visual and performance artist Tony Orrico. A significant portion of the residency was spent exploring the visual design elements of the work.

Canyon premiered in September 2011 at the Philly Live Arts Festival.

  • John Jasperse discusses <i>Canyon</i> with audience
  • Jasperse's Informal Showing of <i>Canyon</i>
  • John Jasperse in Informal Showing of <i>Canyon</i>
  • Burr Johnson, James McGinn and Kennis Hawkins in <i>Canyon</i> Informal Showing
  • Burr Johnson, Kennis Hawkins in <i>Canyon</i> Informal Showing
  • <i>Canyon</i> Informal Showing
  • Erin Cornell in <i>Canyon</i> Informal Showing
  • Burr Johnson, Lindsay Clark, James McGinn rehearse <i>Canyon</i>
  • Burr Johnson, Lindsay Clark, James McGinn rehearse <i>Canyon</i>
  • James McGinn rehearses <i>Canyon</i>
  • Burr Johnson rehearses <i>Canyon</i>
  • Kennis Hawkins rehearses <i>Canyon</i>

Collaborators in Residence: Lindsay Clark, Erin Cornell, Kennis Hawkins, Burr Johnson, James McGinn [performers], Tony Orrico [visual designer]

Additional Collaborators: Hahn Rowe [composer], James Clotfelter [lighting designer]. Slideshow photos by Al Hall.

Featured Artist

Faye Driscoll

February 22 - 24
Carolina Performing
Arts, UNC Chapel Hill


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