Spenser Theberge is a performer, creator, and educator based in Los Angeles. His work is centered in multidisciplinary practice, including the use of dance, theater, text, film, design, fashion, pedagogy, and conversation to create genre-defying, innovative performance, visual art, and education environments.
The notion of process over product is foundational for Spenser’s practice. Instead of seeking outcomes, Spenser is interested in developing a relationship with process that feels endless. It’s when the work is endless that it’s truly sustainable - the best information is in the query, not the statement. The assumption that there’s more is how you keep going.
As a creator, Spenser is interested in the performance of process as a strategy for revealing truths about ourselves, to display identity. It’s important to Spenser that his work allows for collaborators to investigate their own identity while valuing the identities of their colleagues, for perspective, relationship, and storytelling all emerge when individual identities intersect. Unlike a relationship to creating that’s about embodying the voice of the maker, Spenser is interested in making work that amplifies the voices in the space, a truly custom-made collaboration. Through improvisation, conversation, and rigorous physical exchange, Spenser’s work always aims to arrive at a place of rich ownership, research, and trust, completely unique to the performers, allowing the audience to leave feeling they’ve experienced something they never have before.
Spenser aims to continue innovating in his relationship to creation and performance. Why decide that performance has to show up in one way - and stay that way - when it can be reimagined into exciting new territories? His past work demonstrates an unusual ability to shape-shift and accommodate multiple forms. His creations range from evening length solo works, commissions for leading dance institutions, site-specific installations, movement coaching for luxury brands and artists, and dance film collaborations with museums. A multi-disciplinary artist, Spenser has contributed to projects as a choreographer, dancer, actor, text writer, costume designer, stylist, and visual artist. Past commissions and collaborations include The Broad Museum, Taylor Swift, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, LA Dance Project, MOCA Geffen, The Juilliard School, NAVEL, Savage x Fenty, Ben Platt, the NY Times Magazine, The Today Show, LAX Festival, and Gothenburg Opera Dance Company, among others.
A world-renowned educator and performance coach, Spenser’s approach to teaching mirrors that of making, always centering the individual while promoting process and collaboration. What does it mean to be in process with your work, and how can you look for yourself in the work while still honoring the information being offered? The pursuit of this is imperative, and what Spenser believes makes for a sustainable relationship with your work, be it dance, or any other field.
Spenser has been recognized for his valuable approach to education by institutions internationally. He is the inaugural Artist In Residence, along with partner Jermaine Spivey, at The Juilliard School of Dance, as well as an Artist In Residence at USC’s Kaufman School of Dance, and a former faculty member at the California Institute for the Arts. He has been an invited guest educator at the National Theater of Taiwan, BE Moving, Nuova Officina della Danza, CLI Conservatory, Gothenburg Opera Dance Company, Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst, and Springboard Danse, among others. Spenser is passionate about education, and is always looking to help artists integrate continued strategies for learning and that ever-necessary relationship to process.
Moving forward, Spenser hopes to create more opportunities for experiential exchange and resource sharing - to make work, teach, and support the work of others through directing institutions, developing curriculum, hosting residencies, and performing.
Spenser is a proud graduate of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and The Juilliard School. He has performed the works of the world’s most influential choreographers as a former dancer with Nederlands Dans Theater and The Forsythe Company, serving as a cultural attache for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. He has been a guest artist with Kidd Pivot, Gothenburg Opera Dance Company, the ARIAS Company, Astrid Boons, Dimitri Chamblas, and RGWW. He is a YoungArts winner, a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and a Princess Grace Award winner.
If any of this information inspires thoughts for collaboration, please get in touch through the “contact” tab at the top of the page. Spenser thrives in collaboration, and is eager to imagine and innovate many new performance, visual, and education projects with the greater community.