Megan Bridge is a dancer, choreographer, producer, and dance writer based in Philadelphia. She is the co-director of <fidget>, a platform for her collaborative work with composer, designer, and musicologist Peter Price. She is the Executive Director of thINKingDANCE.net, an on-line journal focused on upping the ante of dance coverage and conversation in the Philadelphia area, where she also writes and edits. In January 2016, Bridge joined the faculty of the dance department at Temple University as an adjunct professor, where she teaches Modern Dance technique to dance majors as well as a survey course on dance in the Philadelphia region.
As a dance writer and scholar, Bridge has published 29 articles at thINKingDANCE.net as well as articles in Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, and The Dance Chronicle, Studies in Dance and the Related Arts, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
In June 2009, Bridge and Price opened thefidget space, a warehouse, research laboratory, and hub for new forms of art, media, and performance in Kensington, Philadelphia. Fostering a pocket of rich artistic experimentation, artists and scholars with big ideas are regularly invited to inhabit the space, participating in a lively and engaged community of interdisciplinary art making and discourse. Through thefidget space Bridge has co-curated and produced more than 200 public events including lectures, performances, seminars, and workshop series.
On tour, Bridge’s work has been performed in New York, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Bytom, Poznań, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Johannesburg, and Zurich. In 2013 she was named “Best of Philly” for stage performance by Philadelphia Magazine.
As a professional dancer Bridge has worked with choreographers and companies such as Group Motion, Jerome Bel, Willi Dorner, Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, Susan Rethorst, anonymous bodies, Headlong Dance Theater, and readySetGO, and has taken workshops with Deborah Hay, Xavier LeRoy, Miguel Gutierrez, and Jan Fabre. She has toured as a dancer to Germany, Austria, South Africa, Poland, Lithuania, Japan, and Cyprus. She has been awarded residencies at Spread Art in Detroit, Stary Browar in Poznań, Poland, West Chester University, Arizona State University, and with Walking Gusto Productions in Jonannesburg, South Africa. Holding a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase, Bridge has received funding support from The Leeway Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Puffin Foundation, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Penn PAT, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has received two Fellowships in the Arts from the Independence Foundation (in 2006 and 2014), a New Edge Residency at the Community Education Center in Philadelphia, and a “Rocky” (Philadelphia’s dance award).
I make work in order to cultivate a sensitivity to time unfolding, to environment, to the actual material of space. There is a heightened awareness in the performance moment that is rarely encountered in “normal life.” Meditation, drugs, certain religions, and even self-help books all talk about “being present,” or “living in the moment,” and offer dozens of strategies for how to accomplish this. But what if we take “the moment” as material? What is its shape? How does it change us as it expands or contracts, what does it mean to experience “the moment” variably from within or without?
My artistic work centers around trying to demystify the experience of “being present” both for myself and my audience. One way of coming to this awareness is through embodied movement, from stillness to pedestrian/task-based movement to kinesthetic virtuosity. Another is through deep listening. For the past decade I have been cultivating an embodied deep listening practice through my collaborative improvisational work with composers and musicians.
I’m interested in decreasing the distance between art and life, between theory and practice. I want my dancing to invite attention and questioning from watchers, I want my life to invite expansive presence and embodiment in each moment.
Focusing on the materiality of movement, sound, and environment, I see my work as a sort of metaphysical spelunking: churning up bits of evidence with which to construct a biological commentary on the effects of our machinic and increasingly compartmentalized existence. My works are referential and even appropriationist, grounded in the discourses of contemporary art, culture, and theory. I like experiments.
E-mail: megan (at) the fidget (dot) org