Doctoral Students

Stephen Shropshire
Started in

Research summary

'How to Jump' is a phenomenological study of choreographic practice in, through, and with the technology of jumping.

In dance, a jump generally refers to a spring or a leap into the air. It is a combination movement that involves both a bend and a stretch of the legs—two actions that are fundamental to the Western theatrical tradition. But the technology of jumping suggests much more than just this practical sense. It suggests a negotiation of temporalities (as in, a jump 'follows' a stretch that is 'preceded' by a bend) as well as the demonstration of particular conditions necessary for becoming (as in, I can only jump 'because' I have stretched and stretch 'because' I have bent). As such, jumping might also be understood as both an exercise and embodiment of choreographic thinking; as an activity of thought as it matters—and is made perceptible—in, through, and with its technology. What then can a study of jumping reveal about choreographic thinking as a particular way of knowing?

In the artistic research project 'How to Jump', choreographer Stephen Shropshire explores jumping as 'a way of'; as a meaning-making activity that has as much to do with dance technique as it does with dance philosophy.



Stephen Shropshire (1972, USA) is a choreographer, curator, and independent dance researcher. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City and holds an MA in Arts and Heritage from the University of Maastricht.

His choreographic work responds to the socio-political themes of our time and is distinguished by its compositional dexterity, musical sensibility, and virtuosic movement language. Between 2009 to 2012, Shropshire was the artistic director of Noord Nederlandse Dans and in 2016 established his foundation to facilitate the ongoing development and presentation of new choreographic work.

In 2017 Shropshire was awarded a special honor prize from the Dansersfonds ’79, and in 2018 he was awarded the VSCD ‘Zwan’ for most impressive dance performance of the season. Shropshire is currently the recipient of a ‘Fast Forward’ international production and research grant from the Dutch Performing Arts Fund.


Individual projects

    • Lecture/workshop ROCOCO VARIATIONS

      Stephen Shropshire gives a lecture/workshop for the São Paulo Companhia de Dança | Associação Pró-Dança. The program will explore the choreographic methodologies applied…


      Stephen Shropshire presents ballet ROCOCO VARIATIONS (2020) with live accompaniment from the Theatro São Pedro Orchestra.

      Theatro São Pedro, São Paulo (BR)