Susan Rethorst was born in Washington, D.C. in 1951. She began creating modern dance works in 1975. Rethorst studied dance with Judith Dunn (of Judson Dance Theater) at Bennington College and graduated in 1974. Some of performance practices have included "dailiness" and "stealing". Rethorst's work has been presented by the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, and other locations throughout the United States. Internationally her work has been produced internationally by the Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Teatro Spazio Zero (Rome), the Kunsthalle Basel, Danse A Aix Festival (Aix-en-Provence, France), The Room Festival (Jerusalem), among others.
- Long Sleepless Afternoons (1979)
- The Plunge (1981)
- Stealing (1982)
- Sons of Famous Men (1985)
- Beau Regard (1989)
- Picture This (1992)
- Little By Little, She Showed Up (1995)
- Behold Bold Sam Dog (2001)
- 208 East Broadway series (2007-2013)
- THEN (2014)
- Bessie Awards (1985, 2008)
- Guggenheim Fellowship (1999)
- Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award (2003)
- Alpert Awards in the Arts for Dance (2010)
- Pew Fellowships in the Arts (2014)
- Doris Duke Performing Artist Award Impact Award
- "Who's at the Center? Susan Rethorst". The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Biography". Susan Rethorst. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "DU Archive". Dance Unlimited. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- Nicely, Megan. "On Choreographic Thinking". Dancers Group. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- "Susan Rethorst". Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- Rethorst, Susan (2012). A choreographic mind : autobodygraphical writings. Helsinki: Theatre Academy Helsinki. ISBN 978-9529765706.
- Wilkinson, Alec. "Best Books of 2012". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 13, 2012.