Laura Shapiro’s independent artistic journey has taken her from New York to Asia,  Europe, the Northwest, and back to New York where she has choreographed and performed solo, group, site–specific and site–adaptable pieces, and taught dance and somatics. Noted for ingenious juxtapositions of imagery and ideas, composition, character and style, she often creates her own costumes and props, and in some of her work incorporates text ranging from poetry to social history.

Valuing free–flowing thought as well as free–flowing movement, her work is informed by extensive study of traditional and new, Eastern and Western approaches to alignment, energy and awareness. From the energy medicine of meditation and chi kung to the energy policies currently under public debate, she is interested in exploring the elements of which we are comprised: as they are found in traditional cosmologies and movement practices,  and in our experience of movement in daily life and onstage.

Her creative endeavor is further driven by the issues that are shaping our lives. A concern with the personal as political and the political affecting the personal is evident in several of her pieces. Past works presaged our current chaotic zeitgeist through themes relating to the roles of women at home, at work and in the larger society; the psychology and effects of fascism; and threats to our fragile environment.

In the New York Times, Jack Anderson described her work as having “access to magic powers,” and Jennifer Dunning wrote about her “compelling presence,” “enjoyable feminist wit,” and “the simplicity of her theatrical touches [being] just right for the development of [her] themes.” In Attitude, Nefretete Rasheed wrote “The power of Shapiro’s work seems to lie in its ability to suspend and sustain us in countless yet singular, incisive moments of movement . . . where the dance is given, right from the heart . . . .”

 


Performer: Laura Shapiro in Last Gasp! (First Draft); Photo: Jane Schreibman

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