Bryn Mawr College’s performing arts series has been presenting innovative works in the Philadelphia area since 1984. With Center support, Bryn Mawr has showcased the choreography of contemporary artists such as John Jasperse, Urban Bush Women, and Susan Rethorst, as well as international groups such as the Khmer Arts Ensemble and Compagnie Jant-Bi. In 2014, Bryn Mawr received Center funding to present Trisha Brown: In the New Body, a retrospective of selected dances by Brown, an internationally known leader of postmodernism whose work had rarely been seen in Philadelphia. A 2017 Performance project grant supported Bryn Mawr’s presentation of several immersive installation works by Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury. In 2020, Bryn Mawr received a Center Project grant for Algorithmic Theater, a multi-year residency in which theater artist Annie Dorsen will build on her decade of work that situates the digital world’s algorithmic influence on our everyday lives in dialogue with classical dramatic form, comprising a commission of new work, a mid-career survey, a publication, and a convening of scholars and artists in the technology field.
The Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series presented noted contemporary choreographer John Jasperse's Fort Blossom Revisited, created in 2000 and previously performed only at The Kitchen in New York City. This grant supported the college providing a distinctive context for the work through workshops, a symposium of scholars and artists, and an interactive Web forum where audience members shared their individual responses to Fort Blossom. Dance critic Anna Kisselgoff wrote in the New York Times, following the piece's premiere in 2000, that "new ways of moving are at the heart of [Jasperse's] work, and his dramatic images [...] can be startling." Fort Blossom pays close attention to parts of the body that are usually overlooked in dance—with slow-moving, precise choreography that is awkwardly beautiful. Dance writer Suzanne Carbonneau, in her project commissioned essay, wrote that this work, "finds rapport in the fundamental commonality of our bodies." Jasperse writes that Fort Blossom asks the audience to acknowledge the human body as "simultaneously special, even miraculous, and ordinary."