While in New York, Bill’s interdisciplinary dance works focused on translating “street dance” into the proscenium context were presented at PS122, Dance Theater Workshop, and The Kitchen, among others in NYC and globally. The New York Times hailed Shannon‘s form of movement on crutches as “defying gravity” as his name grew in underground street dance battles including the Rocksteady Crew Anniversary Battle and Seattle’s Freestyle Sessions. Over the period of a decade Bill became a fixture at NYC’s famed Club Shelter, and a lifetime member of the internationally renowned StepFēnz Crew.
In 2001 Bill was offered a starring role as a performer in a Cirque Du Soleil production, Varekai, but opted to become part of the creative team, performing at special events and training an understudy to tour with the show. In 2005, Bill and his wife Leah Lizarondo, expecting their second child relocated to Pittsburgh, where Bill continued to work in performance, utilizing video installation and metal sculpture in solo works for the stage and street. In addition to his work as a performer, Bill frequently lectures on his performance practice and the phenomenological and linguistic framing he has created around his street practice globally. Shannon’s life and creative work are currently the subject of a documentary film in progress, The Art of Weightlessness.
In 2016 Bill was awarded a National Dance Project Production Award from New England Foundation for the Arts, a Heinz Endowment Small Arts Award to support the development of his latest work, Touch Update. Currently Bill Shannon is a Fellow of the Frank-Ratchye Studio For Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh and the Penn Avenue Creative Artist in Residence at Kelly Strayhdorn Theater. Bill’s work, Touch Update is being created in collaboration with dancers slowdanger and Get Down Gang and VJ / Mapper Projectile Objects. Touch Update will premiere at Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival in Pittsburgh May 11 and 12, 2018.