Sydney Swanson



I’m a dance artist, choreographer, photographer, art-maker, life-long learner, and curious human being. For the past few years I’ve been drawn to site-specific dance making, photography, and film. As a photographer I’ve always found immense joy in photographing my surroundings. I love shooting natural landscapes as well as urban, and I especially love the juxtaposition of the two.

As a choreographer and dancer I’m essentially inserting myself into these locations and playing with how I respond in them. Entering a site is like learning to move all over again. How does this place affect my body? What movement do I feel bubbling up in response to the rolling hills or concrete ground that I’m standing on? Can I lean on this tree? What about that building? Site-specific dance breaks any pre-existing rules I may have had about dancing in a space.

There’s something so concrete and grounding about a site-specific location, it stands still, unchanging as the world moves around it. It’s different than a studio or a stage and is imbued with it’s own energy. However, there are sites that I’ve been drawn to that have shifted since I’ve known them. One location has two less trees than it did two years ago when I photographed dancers in it. These sites serve as a reminder that change is constant and nothing is exempt from that. 

As an artist and a human being I’m still learning how to best express myself. What is it that I want to say and how do I want to say it? There’s movement in every aspect of life and spontaneous dances seem to pop up all around me. Whether it’s in the interweaving of traffic or the flight patterns of birds, everything moves. When I’m in a dance class it’s the same effect – everything seems to be an analogy to life. It’s been a delight to flow through life as a dancer and photographer and I’m so excited to keep exploring in these ways.

Education and Recent Performances:

This past April and May I had the pleasure of joining Erinn Liebhard and six other dancers in Minneapolis to perform in Erinn’s new evening length work titled in:habit. I’ve also performed at Mid West Music Fest and Boats & Bluegrass Festival with Ignite, which is a fire and fiber optics based group. My Bachelor’s degree is in Mass Communications: Photojournalism with minors in Dance and Sustainability.