Michelle Boulé is a choreographer, performer, teacher and Certified BodyTalk Practitioner based in New York. Her work has received commissions and presentations from The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, River to River Festival, American Realness, ISSUE Project Room (Emerging Artist Commission), Mount Tremper Arts Festival, Dance and Process at The Kitchen, Movement Research at Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Catch Performance Series, and a Danspace performance curated by Judy Hussie-Taylor in “Come Together: Surviving Sandy.” She has also toured her work to Gertrudes iealis teatris in Latvia, the OnEdge Festival at Links Hall in Chicago, and The Painted Bride in Philadelphia. Her collaborative duo with composer/cellist Okkyung Lee has been presented by The Met Breuer, send + receive festival (Winnipeg, Canada), The Stone, MoMA Junior Associates event, and ISSUE Project Room. Boulé has been a choreographic assistant and performance coach for Deborah Hay solo adaptations, including an adaptation presented by El Auditorio in Tenerife, Spain. She has also choreographed works for Zenon Dance, Eugene Lang College/The New School, Latvian Academy of Culture, University of Oregon, Trevor Day School, and University of Illinois. Awards received include a New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, Cloud Prize, Boekelheide Creativity Award, Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant. She is a currently a cohort artist in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development Program (2015-17). She has also had residencies at collective address, Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Movement Research, and internationally at DanceHouse (Ireland), and at SKITE (France). In 2002, she was a DanceWeb scholarship recipient at Impulstanz in Vienna.
As a performer, she has collaborated with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People since 2001, receiving a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award “Bessie” for her performance as James Dean and collaboration in the creation of “Last Meadow” and 2015 “Bessie” nomination for her body of work with Gutierrez. Other artists she has worked with include John Jasperse, John Scott, Deborah Hay (William Forsythe commission “If I Sing to You”), David Wampach, Donna Uchizono, Mark Dendy, Neal Medlyn, Christine Elmo, Neal Beasley, Beth Gill, Judith Sanchez-Ruiz, Doug Varone (Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Opera Colorado), Gabriel Masson, and playwright/director Rosie Goldensohn. She is part of the teaching faculty at Movement Research in New York. She has also been faculty at The New School, Hollins University and the University of Illinois, as well as a guest teacher at dance institutions in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
My work as a choreographer, performer, and teacher begins with the body—the information it holds and conveys and how this relates to our cultural landscape. I research eastern and western views on somatics, healing and the physical expression of consciousness and aim to transmit this profound and at times esoteric knowledge of the body into the space and time of performance. My work often also addresses the power and mystery of the feminine.
My process involves intuitively collecting elements—movement, text, costumes, music—and allowing their poetic logic to arise in surprising ways. I don’t tend to work with a single idea when I’m creating. Rather, the piece arises through the distilling and framing of the multitude of content I collect.
With my long history as a performer, the creation of my work is guided by the performer’s role and trajectory within a dance and a deep investigation of physicality, as well as a penchant for humor and subtle upending of perspective. I aspire to give meaning to movement and the body—ultimately, a reminder and a space for the potential of what and who we are.
Watch a video profile on Michelle done by The New Yorker.
Michelle Boulé is “Bessie” Award winning performer who since 1999 has dedicated much of her practice to working as a performer/collaborator in the works of several artists. These artists include Miguel Gutierrez, John Jasperse, Deborah Hay (William Forsythe commission “If I Sing to You”), John Scott, Donna Uchizono, David Wampach, Christine Elmo, Neal Medlyn, Beth Gil, Mark Haim, Doug Varone (Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Opera Colorado) Gabriel Masson, and playwright/director Rosie Goldensohn.
When Ms. Boulé is onstage, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her…Siobhan Burke, The New York Times
Michelle Boulé is a force of nature. She dances like a volcano and I can’t take my eyes off her.Lisa Kraus, thINKingDANCE
...Boulé’s strangely magical naïveté – opened up an uncanny space between experience and consciousness.Hong-An Truong, Idiom Mag
Michelle’s teaching combines information from her studies of various somatic and energetic modalities as well as her professional experience as a performer and artist over the last 16 years. She has been known to incorporate a deep understanding of movement, performance, and creativity with an inspired, exploratory, and enjoyable atmosphere. She has been guest faculty at Hollins University and the University of Illinois, teaching technique, improvisation, composition and performance, and somatic studies. She teaches regularly in New York as faculty at Movement Research and has also taught at the American Dance Festival, 92nd Street Y, Dance New Amsterdam, and the former Trisha Brown Studio in New York. She has taught numerous classes and workshops throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Asia. Her teaching is very much influenced by her 8 year practice as a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner, as well as her studies in Feldenkrais Method, Body-Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, Franklin Method, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Continuum Movement, yoga and Ayurveda.
Movement Practice Class Description
I invite you to come to class with the belief that your body has all that it needs and that within the collective of the room, we expand our resources even further. We’ll use guided improvisations, honoring each individual’s unique pathways for engaging and understanding. We’ll also work with simple exercises and imagery, utilizing specific ideas about anatomy and kinesiological function. There will be time to observe how our actions, thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and breath shape our experience. The accumulation of this information will help us access states where physically efficient, creative engagement is the default choice! Class will end with an application of these ideas to choreographed phrase work.
- Movement Technique Class
- Performance and Persona
- Tools for Creative Practice – The Art of Listening
- BodyTalk and Open Movement
- Personal History as a Professional Dancer & Artist
- BodyTalk & Dance/Art Practice
Teaching and Residency
Alfred University – Alfred, NY
May 17-20, 24-27
“The Monomyth” World Premiere
The Chocolate Factory – Long Island City, NY
In Formal Performance, shared with Darrell Jones
The JIM – Chicago, IL
Teaching Fluid Systems/BodyTalk
The JIM – Chicago, IL
Teaching Inspired Movement Technique MELT Workshop
Movement Research – New York, NY
Performance and Teaching
Lion’s Jaw Festival – Boston, MA
Nov 30-Dec 3
Performance with Bebe Miller Company
Wexner Center for the Arts – Columbus, OH
New Yorker | video for Five Borough Freestyle: Contemporary
ArtForum 500 Words Interview | by Samara Davis
NY Times | feature by Claudia LaRocco
Critical Correspondence | interview by Matthew Walker on the process of making WONDER
BOMBLOG | interview by Lauren Bakst for Hello, I need you at The Kitchen
Bomb Magazine | interview by Samara Davis
Brooklyn Rail | White Review by Cassie Peterson
Dance View Times | White Review by Martha Sherman
Financial Times | WONDER Review by Apollinaire Scherr
Infinite Body | WONDER Review by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
NY Times | WONDER Listing by Siobhan Burke
Dance.Lv Journal | WONDER Review by Inta Balode
More coming soon…
Michelle Boulé’s work is made possible through the generous support given by numerous individual donors.Please click here to make a 100% tax-deductible donation through Michelle Boulé’s fiscal sponsor New York Live Arts.Click here to donate
Endless thanks to the members of my Leadership Circle for their abundant support:
Mel and Cecilia Boulé
Maximilian and Kim Kort
Fran McCaughan and Nessan Fitzmaurice
Jonathan and Elizabeth Tunney
Please contact email@example.com to become a Leadership Circle member and support continued artistic endeavors for Michelle Boulé and her collaborators.
Michelle Boulé is a member artist of New York Live Arts, Inc., a non-profit tax-exempt organization. Contributions in support of Michelle Boulé’s work are greatly appreciated and may be made payable to New York Live Arts, Inc., earmarked for “the New York Live Arts member project of Michelle Boulé.” A description of the work and current project activities for which such contributions will be used are available from Michelle Boulé or New York Live Arts, upon request. All contributions are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law. (Note: A copy of New York Live Arts’ latest annual financial report filed with the New York State Department of State may be obtained by writing to the N.Y.S. Dept. of State, Charities Registration, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY, 12231, or to New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, New York, NY, 10011.)