One With Others

Nov 7-9, 2013

Karen Sherman

"Karen Sherman makes ferocious dances." -- Dance Magazine

Dance, words and scrap lumber are the raw materials for One with Others, an examination of who we become due to the choices we—or others—make. Crude, handmade wooden appendages—part prop, prosthetic, costume—stand alongside text and choreography to form a trio of blunt, jerry-rigged languages that ask: can movement be a refuge from words? Can objects be language? 


Can words be visuals? Can we, in our groping toward self-realization and being with others in the world, do without even one of these? One with Others dismantles and cobbles back together what it means to be seen, handled, used and needed.

"Sherman is one of the most daring and insightful artists working in our community and she creates work that is not only relevant to our time but memorable — even if the memories are the sort we feel uncomfortable keeping." – Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages

About Karen Sherman

Karen Sherman has been based in Minneapolis since 2004. Her work has been presented nationally by P.S. 122, Danspace Project, Walker Art Center, The Southern Theater, PICA/TBA Festival, Red Eye Theater, Fusebox Festival, ODC, Dance Place and many others. She has received many awards for her work as a choreographer, performer, and designer, including a 2007 “Bessie” Award for her performance in Morgan Thorson's Faker, McKnight Fellowships in Choreography and Dance, a Bush Foundation Fellowship, residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Movement Research, Vermont Performance Lab, and a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship in Liguria, Italy. She has worked with a range of fine artists, including Sally Silvers, Morgan Thorson, NTUSA, Circus Amok, Emily Johnson, Lisa D’Amour, Katie Pearl, Heidi Dorow/The Love Everybody Players, Dan Hurlin, the feminist pop-punk band, Le Tigre, and many more. She is a fifth-generation lasso spinner, former backup singer and studied flying trapeze in Paris at L’Ecole de Trapeze Volant. Her background in nearly every facet of arts production as a producer, production manager, technical director, designer, and technician, informs each aspect of her work. Her writing, including essays and poetry, has been featured on many live, web and print forums, including The Movement Research Performance Journal, Culture Bodega, The Performance Club, and The Triumph of Poverty: Poems Inspired by the Work of Nicole Eisenman.

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Reviews & Press

“The show was full of fun, but rarely without a sense of something more pensive below—just the right amount of bitters in the cocktail. The dialogue between dance and text created a space that recognized and played with the strangeness of people dealing with each other, people watching other people operate in the displacement of a stage, and people trying to make something together. As dance extends language in such a conversation, the [props] extended the dance. Some appeared flimsy or goofy at first, but in the world built on stage they served necessary, bizarre purposes. Sherman piloted the most elaborate of them through a tooth-scratchingly-raw operation….The beauty of the show was how much sense that made once things came to that point, and how difficult it would be to explain why.” -- Nim Wunnan, Oregon Arts Watch

"Karen Sherman is one of my favorite choreographers and performers in America…. I often think of her as a working man’s choreographer, as she is as inspired by hard physical labor as she is inspired by creating movement/performance in a studio. It’s as if she emerged out of the lumber camps of the Northwest or the tool and dye shops of Detroit.” – Ben Johnson for Portland Monthly

“’One With Others,  a smart, witty production by Minneapolis-based artist Karen Sherman chips away at the pretensions of art. Wait, chips away? Scratch that. One With Others doesn’t chip, it claws huge backhoe craters out of all the hooey slung around about the transformative powers, purity and superiority of art — and artists.” – Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post


Performed by: Joanna Furnans, Karen Sherman and Jeffrey Wells
Original Sound/Music: Claude Bleton, Karen Sherman, Jeffrey Wells, Dave Snyder, Joanna Furnans, Karen Fennel
Sound Design, Scenic Design & Construction: Karen Sherman
Lighting Design: Carrie Wood
Scenic Consultants: Jeremy Wilhelm and Carrie Wood
Video: Karen Sherman and Andrew Welken
Text: Karen Sherman, Joanna Furnans, Jeffrey Wells, Claudia La Rocco, Nami Mun, Hope Forstenzer
Costumes: Tulle & Dye
Production Stage Manager: Aaron Schoenrock
Dramaturgy/Interpretation: Jeremy Wilhelm and Claudia La Rocco


The creation and presentation of One with Others is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with the New England Foundation for the Arts through the National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation. Support from the NEA provides funding for choreographers in the early stages of their careers. General Operating support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

One with Others was made possible in part with a research and development residency and co-production support by Vermont Performance Lab with funding support from the New England Foundation for the Art’s National Dance Project with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and VPL’s Creation Fund donors.

Karen Sherman is a fiscal year 2013 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

This project was also made possible through the generous support of The Jerome Foundation, The Map Fund and InRez at Studio 206. One with Others is a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts, a nonprofit arts service organization.