Bill Shannon is an internationally renowned interdisciplinary dance and media artist who defies definition and gravity. Through storytelling, dance, physical comedy, visual art and live video of street performances, Shannon shares with his audience how his dance/mobility form with crutches and a skateboard slowly evolved into a linguistic project. He documents how he created dance techniques on crutches while performing, speaking and showing his work around the world.
Disabled since childhood, Shannon learned how to wield his crutches as tools of expression -- transforming his physical imperfections into an internationally celebrated innovation. He considers his work rooted in street culture and informed by the fine arts. His art has opened up a wide spectrum of philosophical and cultural notions of what it means to be limited and the politics of "help". Underlying he exposes a silent world of prejudice that disabled people encounter on a daily basis.
Over the past two decades Shannon’s installations, performances, choreography and video work have been presented nationally and internationally at numerous venues, festivals and events including, Sydney Opera House, Tate Liverpool Museum, NYC Town Hall, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, The Holland Festival, Amsterdam, Temple Bar Dublin, Kiasma Museum Finland, Hirshhorn Museum and many more.
Shannon also completed a project with Cirque du Soleil where he choreographed an aerial duet and a solo on crutches for their 2002 production "Varekai," which continued to tour into 2013.
Shannon has been honored with a Newhouse Foundation Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a Foundation for Contemporary Art Award, among others. He has also received support for his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International: The Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals PA Council on the Arts and others.
Shannon also won Mantis Battle (Solo Category) in NYC in 2000, placed second in ProAms Florida (Abstract Category) and in 2002 was awarded Most Creative Street Dancer by the LA Urban Dance Festival.
Shannon holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.