Susan Barnard has called Virginia ‘home’ since 2008; first Charlottesville, and now Stanardsville. Previous to this she lived in NY, OR, and NH. In addition to teaching in colleges (UVa, Colby-Sawyer, Elmira, Keuka, Bradford, Fitchburg, Hobart and William Smith), studios, and communities throughout the US, she has worked as an independent dance artist.
Her work has been commissioned and performed regionally, nationally, and internationally. Historically ,Susan has collaborated with composers Eric DeLuca and Greg Taylor, sculptors Renee Balfour and Andy Moerlein, filmmaker Rob Todd, and sky artist, Steve Poleskie. Besides the 35 plus concert works she has created, she has performed in the works of choreographers Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, Chen and Dancers, Bill Evans, Garth Fagan Dance, Mickey Farmer, June Finch, Sondra Fraleigh, Jeanne Goddard, David Gordon, Peggy Lawler, Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, Merian Soto and Pepin Osorio, Lois Welk, and others. She has studied and taken workshops with Ron K Brown/Evidence, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Cunningham Dance Company, David Dorfman, Doug Elkins, Maureen Fleming, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Elizabeth Streb, 2 summers at Jacobs Pillow, and many others.
Locally she has performed with/choreographed for UVa, PVCC, Ann Megibow for Riverfest, Roberta Cook, Olivia Rivard-Hill, Deep Water Moves, Cumulus Dance, Ellie deWaal and Dancers, McGuffey Art Center, and her own solo work.
Barnard co-founded Firehouse Dance Company with Jeanne Goddard, Debbie Whelan, and Marcia McCaffrey, and co-founded Northwood Outdoor Studio and Firehouse Studio with Andy Moerlein in NY.
Susan has studied and taught many dance forms notably Ballet, Jazz, Improvisation, LBMA (see below), and Modern. Her great love is Modern with its felt sense of groundedness, breath, innovation, collaborative spirit, and inclusiveness. She has been very influenced by the post-modern dance movement. In addition to technique, Susan has also taught Dance History, LBMA, Kinesiology, Movement for Actors, and Improvisation/Composition on the college level.
Susan holds an MA and MFA in dance from SUNY College at Brockport and is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA in the LBMA work) through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies. She is currently studying to be a Certified Clinical Somatics Educator in the work of Thomas Hanna, creator of the term Somatics.
With her new certification and lifetime of studying movement, Barnard will be offering one-on-one and small group classes (in her home studio) in Somatic work, Body Awareness, Improvisation, Ballet Barre, and she will be looking to develop new dance works with other interested movers. She is a lifelong student of movement and believes that increased self-awareness of how our bodies move most efficiently combined with healthy lifestyle choices, helps us to engage in our world with with more fluidity, less discomfort, and better coping skills.
Susan is also an RN who is currently in practice in Charlottesville.
Follow her on Instagram: blue_ridge_somatics_and_dance
Let there be Light Performance