The human body—living, breathing sculptures, hosts to our ever-changing-growing journeys, individual, and communal alike.
I am fascinated by the physical connections and partnerships created between bodies. By collaboratively building human sculptures, my choreographic research explores different vantage points, presenting a visual angle of the body to the viewer that is not openly accessible to the straight-forward gaze. How can the molding of a body/bodies “opportunize” the spectator’s vantage point?
How do the atmospheric conditions in a performance space effect the viewers and the performers? Three key aspects of atmosphere which fascinate me—creating an empathic atmosphere for both the performer and the audience, providing textural experiences enhanced through images, aromas, and touch, and establishing an environmental mood: intimate, warm/cold, imaginative, and more.
I am intrigued by how light plays with the scenic value of the space. I often use light as a way to define space, as a performer/character inside of the performance work, and as an element of costume on bodies.
Short stories. What were once just a hobby of mine, are now major influences on my choreographic craft. One day I plan to gather my stories and publish them as a collection, with the main thematic focus surrounding how perspective alters a story’s impact on the reader, and in turn a dance’s impact on the spectator.
Feel. Hear. Listen. Speak. My research is a seed inside of me nourished by my surroundings, fed, and motivated by sights, smells, sensations, experiences—both emotional and tangible—textures, faces, gestures, and language.
Photo by Laura Meek
Michelle is originally from Texas where she began her dance training. While on scholarship, she received her BFA in Dance from Belhaven University where she was awarded merit for “Great Artistic Achievement.” She additionally trained with Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, TX and with the Inlet Dance Theatre Trainee and Apprentice Program in Cleveland, OH. While living in New York City, Michelle traveled globally working in television and radio production with ESPN, the Tennis Channel, and CBS Radio. In 2012, she relocated to Cleveland to continue her dance career with Inlet Dance Theatre where she performed for 5 seasons as a company member. During her time with Inlet, she choreographed, and led masterclasses throughout Ohio, and at conferences and festivals across the country. Michelle is currently pursuing an MFA in Dance at The Ohio State University where she focuses her choreographic and scholarly research on gender and power representation, dance film, and nontraditional partnering techniques. Meanwhile, she teaches and choreographs nationwide at various studios, schools, and dance programs. As a teacher and creator, Michelle seeks to connect with others in ways that deepen the human experience, builds community, and stimulates the artistic voice within us all.