Megan Mayer is an award-winning Minneapolis-based artist working with choreography, dance, experimental video and photography. Their work pulls from minimalism, transposition, mimicry, grief, tenderness, wry humor, loneliness, social anxiety, fake bad timing and exacting musicality. By exposing tiny emotional undercurrents, Mayer finds virtuosity through vulnerability and gesture. Drawn to the edges of the experience of performing: the anticipatory rapid heartbeat before going onstage, and the regretful relief after exiting, the work often reveals where that switch lives in the body. Mayer makes deeply personal dances that celebrate the people performing them.
For 35+ years Mayer has always held a full-time job in addition to being an artist, noting that their job and dancemaking are so intertwined that they can't consider one without the demands of the other. Mayer makes art work amidst the inequities and confines of late-stage capitalism and tries to use their privilege to advocate for fellow artists and employees. Mayer’s work has been generously supported by two McKnight Choreographic Fellowships, residencies at the National Center for Choreography--Akron (Ohio), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Florida), and several local arts organizations, grants from Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Minnesota State Arts Board, and Jerome Foundation, a Sage Dance Award, and numerous choreographic commissions.
Mayer came to NCCAkron in July 2019 to develop (FW) Redux, dance for four performers including Mayer, Charles Campbell, Matt Regan and Greg Waletski, with additional sound design by Matt Regan.
In 2016 they presented a first draft of This is supposed to be my fertile window, a dance inspired by the duality of singer Dusty Springfield's stage fright and powerful voice. (FW) Redux looks at this work 3 years later and asks: How best to deal with anxiety in such a troubled time? How do we persist when we’re all broken? What can we contribute during this time of racial/political/artistic unease? Who gets to claim and define gender?
Mayer joined the list of NCCAkron artists who worked with Akron's Chill Artisan Ice Cream to create a custom flavor – "Well, It Felt Like Love," a lemon-and-chocolate combination inspired by a Shangri-Las lyric.
Photo credit: Dale Dong
Creative Residency Artist (2019)