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Home » News » Living Legacy Artist, Ann Carlson, Begins Residency at MANCC

Living Legacy Artist, Ann Carlson, Begins Residency at MANCC

Published January 29, 2016

January 31 – February 7, 2016

ann carlson

Carlson performs Grass at MANCC Informal Showing

Living Legacy Artist Ann Carlson’s solo performance work, Dumbo Redacted, is an elegy for the past, a celebration of a threatened species, and an invitation to observe the imaginary while anticipating the real. An abstract story– playing with clumsy grace, wild quiet, and moving stillness– Dumbo Redacted is a continuation of Carlson’s celebrated Animal series, of which Carlson has mused,

“I wanted to make works that could respond to a living being that I couldn’t choreograph in the way that I’d been taught to choreograph… I didn’t want to manipulate the animals and make the dog, cat or goats do something.”

The conceptual basis for Dumbo Redacted stems from Carlson’s questions: What is the real and symbolic presence of an elephant? and How do we contain what we don’t know?

Carlson will have several MANCC residencies over the next three years. During this first residency, she will expand her creative process by inviting dramaturg Melanie Joseph into the studio early in her process, making this the first time that Carlson has worked with a dramaturg at this stage in the development of a work. Joseph will join Carlson as she hones the movement language in Dumbo Redacted, while refining and clarifying the project’s directions and themes. Carlson will also continue to experiment with sculptural guises to be fleshed out in future residencies at MANCC.


Carlson performs Balcony at MANCC Informal Showing

Carlson performs Balcony at MANCC Informal Showing

Ann Carlson is an interdisciplinary artist who borrows from the disciplines of dance, performance, theater, visual and conceptual art, and often dismantles conventional boundaries between artist and subject. Carlson’s work takes the form of solo performance, site-specific projects, ensemble dance and theatrical works, and performance/video. She also often works within a series format, creating socially engaged performance structures over a period of years that adapt and tour to multiple sites.

Carlson is the recipient of over 30 commissions and numerous awards for her artistic work. Her awards include: a 2016 Creative Capital Award, a 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in Contemporary Dance, a 2015 National Dance Project Award, a 2014 Multi-Art Production Fund Grant, a USA Artist Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. She was an Artist Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship/Harvard University and at Stanford University’s Humanities Center. 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.

Stanford University was both the site and inspiration of Carlson’s latest work, The Symphonic Body: a performance/orchestral work made entirely of gestures. Carlson just completed a year long residency at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA where The Symphonic Body, performed by 100 people from across UCLA’s campus, had its second incarnation at Royce Hall on November 21, 2015.

Animals are often at the center of Carlson’s inquiry in her solo dance/performance works. She has collaborated with a number of animals, who have performed live with Carlson. Horses, dogs, cats, cows, fish, and goats have made their way into her works. Dumbo Redacted is informed by the movement, intelligence and mythology of the largest land mammal on earth. Another of Carlson’s current projects, Doggie Hamlet, is a performance with a herding dog, a flock of sheep, and four human performers.

Collaborators in Residence


  • Melanie Joseph


Entrypoints are unique opportunities for visiting artists to conduct research and collaborate with the FSU and Tallahassee communities as well as the national dance field.

February 3, 2016

  • School of Dance Open Forum Discussion with Melanie Joseph
    10:30 AM Nancy Smith Fichter Theater
  • Studio Visit Professor Mary Karen Dahl, Ph.D. and School of Theatre Graduate Dramaturgy Class

Please email for additional information.

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The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), at the FSU School of Dance, is a choreographic research and development center whose mission is to raise the value of the creative process in dance.