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Shannon Gillen

Lecturer in Dance

Shannon Gillen is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of the New York dance company Vim Vigor. A sought after choreographer with an established audience following and commissions at prestigious national and international venues, Gillen has been championed by Deborah Jowitt as “vastly gifted,” and Vogue Magazine has called her work“mesmerizing.” 

Gillen danced with the Johannes Wieland Company at the Staatstheater Kassel in Germany as a full-time company member. She danced in 56 international performances and was singled out in the press for being ‘in top form, a feat of strength’ (HNA, German News). While dancing in Germany, Gillen received Third Prize 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 in residence with the Staatsoper in Hannover, creating a piece that premiered at the TANZ Theater International Festival. In Fall 2014, she returned to the U.S., where she was noted in The Brooklyn Rail for her “fierce physicality and rigorous inquisitiveness in her work.” She has received commissions for the Purchase Dance Company and New York University’s Second Avenue Dance Company, and was selected for the International Commissioning Project for Hubbard Street. HB2 recently premiered her piece in Switzerland, with performances planned across the U.S. and in Germany.

Gillen has choreographed 26 new works since 2010, with notable commissions at Treffpunkt-Rotebuehlplatz, Springboard Danse Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, 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, with LMCC’s Sitelines Series as part of NYC’s River to River Festival, Bryant Park Presents, Festival Oltre Passo in Italy, Beach Sessions and Steps Repertory Company for the Joyce Theater and Jacob’s Pillow, among others.

Gillen graduated from the Juilliard School and was later awarded a full fellowship to attend Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she earned her MFA in dance. She is member of the faculty in the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College and also holds faculty teaching positions at Peridance Capezio Center and Dance New Amsterdam (Gibney Dance). She is also a guest teaching artist at the Juilliard School, the Hartt School, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.