Selected works from Shannon’s repertory are featured below. For more information, please email

New Street Dance Group Reel

Another Word For Missing 

  • premiere: 2014, performance garage (philadelphia, pa)
  • music: alexandra t bryant
  • choreography: shannon dooling and krista armbruster with the cast
  • set: mike armbruster

like a unicorn in captivity

  • premiere: clarice smith performing arts center, october 2012 (Master’s Thesis Concert)
  • music: vivaldi, brahams, the album leaf, natalie spehar; additional music composed by joel pierson and performed by natalie spehar, joel pierson, john hadfield
  • choreography: shannon dooling, additional choreography: trinette singleton
  • text: anne morrow linbergh, shannon dooling
  • set design: douglas andrew clarke
  • lighting design: andrew cissna
  • projections design: robert denton
  • costume design: chelsey schuller

What happens when you realize that your idol isn’t perfect? Or, when you recognize her flaws in yourself? Inspired by these questions, Shannon Dooling created Like a Unicorn in Captivity, a response to and an interpretation of the work of writer and aviator Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The piece incorporates multimedia, spoken word and movement in an exploration of celebrity, hero-worship, identity, relationship, ambition, creativity and duty.

The Title Keeps Changing

A dance-theatre duet originally devised and choreographed by Shannon Dooling-Cain and Lauren Fanslau; later revised with creative input from Emilie Davignon and Elizabeth Barton. The video clip below is excerpted from performance at Dance Place (Washington, D.C.). Music by Natalie Spehar.

Improvisation Series 

Series of improvised duets between Shannon Dooling-Cain and Cellist Jonathan Cain, exploring the relationship between sound and movement, composer and choreographer, musician and dancer, and human and artist.

Synchronicity, the most recent edition in the series, was performed at Glendale Community College in Glendale, AZ as part of the Arizona Dance West Festival in 2017.

Done Up and Strung Up (
Done Up and Strung Up is part of a series of solos-in-process that looks at perspectives on femininity in dance, using the performer’s relationships with a string of pearls as a metaphor for the idealized version of womanhood. The perspectives are embodied through each dancer’s manipulation of the prop and costuming as well as movement style. Different codified dance techniques are explored in each solo, and combined with organic movement to represent (or rebel against) the “feminine ideal” inherent in different dance forms. Video of part one, featured below, is from the 2013 Philadelphia Fringe Arts Festival. Music by Mark O’Connor. Video by Kendra Brisco.

Not Alone

  • premiere: Actor’s Fund Theatre, NYC, as part of National Choreography Month 2013
  • music: Spark composed by geoff sheil, performed by jonathan cain, thomas edward hunter, and paul keesling
  • choreography and performance: shannon dooling


  • premiere: clarice smith performing arts center, february 2013
  • music: le grand tango by astor piazzolla, performed by jonathan cain (cello) and yee von ng (piano)
  • choreography and performance: shannon dooling and elizabeth barton
  • projections: robin neveu brown with brittany shemuga
  • lighting: brittany shemuga
  • video: paul jackson

Altared was inspired by the tangos of Argentina and Finland, the concept of alter egos, Finnish mythology, and tragedies such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The work began as a pure-movement “trio for piano, cello, and modern dancer” for Dooling, Ng, and Cain as a part of Ng’s First Doctoral Recital at the University of Maryland, and quickly blossomed into a thematic multimedia work exploring the notion: “We are all capable of unimaginable violence and unimaginable good.”


  • commissioned by: desales university dance program
  • premiere: labuda center for the performing arts, 2013 
  • music: john adams
  • choreography: shannon dooling and krista armbruster

Superluminous explore ties that bind and tangles that entrap as the dancers twist one another up in kinesthetic and emotional webs as they travel through the space, but just as quickly they release, recoil and rebound into new relationships or solo explorations.  The fast paced, whirling and swirling nature of the dance leaves the audience on the edge of their seat as they too become entangled in the rushing music and constant motion.


  • premiere:  the outlet dance project, nj, 2006
  • choreography: shannon dooling
  • music: chopin
  • 3 dancers, 5 minutes
  • photos: amanda swenson

Tripled is inspired in part by the monologue “Women, where are we going?” from The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein, and explores the often complicated dynamics that shape female relationships.



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