Ann Carlson’s artistic work borrows from the disciplines of dance, performance, theater, as well as visual, conceptual and social art practices. Her work takes the form of solo dance performance, site-specific performance projects, ensemble dance works, and performance/video. Carlson often works within a series format, and develops performance structures over a period of years that adapt to multiple sites. Carlson is adept at working with a wide variety of people. Whether with lawyers, security guards, fly-fisherman, ranchers, ballet dancers, professors, or gardeners, her work addresses the biases and boundaries, stereotypes and striations of contemporary culture.
Carlson is the recipient of numerous awards and over thirty commissions for her artistic work. Awards include: Creative Capital Award, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Two American Masters, numerous Creative Capital MAPfund awards; a Rockefeller Seed Grant; a USA Artist Fellowship; a Guggenheim Fellowship; a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship; a MANCC’s Living Legacy Artist; and a Fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, among others. She was an artist fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship/Harvard University. Carlson has received three awards from the National Choreographic Initiative; a Doris Duke Award for New Work; the first Cal/Arts Alpert Award in Choreography; and a prestigious three-year choreographic fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Carlson completed a residency hosted by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation on Captiva Island, Florida and most recently was in residence at Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, sponsored by the Center for the Art of Performance, at UCLA.
Carlson’s current projects include; “The Symphonic Body” a performance made entirely of gestures, “Doggie Hamlet” a site specific spectacle performed by a flock of sheep, three herding dogs and six human performers, “Dumbo Redacted”, a solo made and performed by Carlson, inspired by earth’s largest land mammal, and the end of Ringling Bros Circus. Carlson’s latest project is a series of duets for women and their dogs entitled “Femme d’un certain âge avec son chien.”
Carlson’s recent collaborative projects include “Elizabeth, the dance” made with the Ririe -Woodbury Dance Company, of Salt Lake City UT, “Animal Dance” a dance for very young audience members made with Children’s Theater Company, Minneapolis, Carlson’s long time collaboration with video maker Mary Ellen Strom resulted in the creation of a number of single channel performance videos (“Madame 710”, “Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg & Moore”, “Four Parallel Lines” among others) that are held in several private and museum collections.
Carlson has taught choreography and performance in universities around the US and Mexico, including Stanford, Princeton and Wesleyan Universities, as well as the University of Minnesota, and currently at UCLA and UC Riverside.