Mason dance professor Susan Shields was featured in a great article in the Washington Post. In the article, she talks about her successful career as one of only a handful of female freelance choreographers in the industry.
Shields has created works for some of the best contemporary ballet companies, including Washington Ballet, Boston Ballet II, and most recently, Ballet West. Her work on Ballet West, “Grand Synthesis,” we be presented on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 8:30 p.m. at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap. Shields’s piece will be among other works by renowned choreographers George Balanchine and Jiri Kylian.
Before becoming a professor in Mason’s School of Dance, Shields enjoyed a long performance career with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. When she came to Mason in 1997, Shields tried her hand at choreography – in between touring with dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov’s company, White Oak Dance Project.
Some of her earliest pieces were first staged on Mason dancers. Since then, her career as a choreographer has taken off, and as the article notes, she has created her own “style that fuses formal balletic technique with modern shapes and movement.”