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 Susan Rethorst: Inquiring Mind/Choreographic Mind, a retrospective that introduced local audiences to Rethorst's work, which is largely unknown outside New York City and Europe, and yet has influenced multiple generations of contemporary dance artists. In addition to new iterations of Rethorst's past work, including the critically acclaimed Behold Bold Sam Dog, and the premiere of 208 East Broadway Part 5, the project featured a series of public events, including group discussions, master classes, and workshops with local artists and audiences, all of which provided unique windows into Rethorst's methodology. Danspace Project's Judy Hussie-Taylor curated a "day of dance" focusing on Rethorst's career and featuring conversations, installations, and other events. Guest artists across the project period included Big Dance Theater, David Gordon, Douglas Dunn, Anne Waldman, Claudia LaRocco, and Elizabeth Streb. Rethorst is a 2014 Pew Fellow.