Karen Sherman


2012 Lab Artist: Karen Sherman


Karen Sherman is a Bessie Award-winning performer and choreographer whose work is inspired by science, social issues, and the effect of situation and setting on the individual.  Her representations of sexual identity (and the experience of inhabiting the female body specifically) are hallmarks of her performances and push beyond the conventional to give voice to the queer body. Her visually engaging performance style is shaped by her background as a producer, production manager, designer and technician as well as her multi-faceted performance experience as a musician/singer, fifth-generation lasso spinner, and former student of the flying trapeze.

Sherman had a two-week residency at VPL to develop various aspects of One with Others  – a piece that interweaves themes of biography, communication, self-determination, and desire. Her research included working with local artisans to help design costumes/body props made of wood and metal structures and research the machine tool collections at the American Precision Museum in Windsor, VT. Her collaborators joined Sherman for the second week to develop the sound and performative aspects of the piece, working in the recording studio of Guilford Sound and at the Broad Brook Grange.

This residency and IN THE WORKS showing are made possible with support from the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and VPL’s Creation Fund donors.