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.
Bryn Mawr College's Performing Arts Series presented The Lives of Giants by the Khmer Arts Ensemble from Takhmao, Cambodia, led by choreographer and artistic director Sophiline Cheam Shapiro. Cheam Shapiro's work sets classical Cambodian dance to themes that move beyond traditional Cambodian literary, mythological, or religious source material. Her dance treatments have been commissioned by Peter Sellars for the Vienna Festival as well as numerous other noted international venues. In the month leading up to the performances of The Lives of Giants, Bryn Mawr hosted a series of free events designed to expand the audience's knowledge of Cambodian dance, music, and culture. The events included a series of workshops, films, and lecture demonstrations.