Learning to Dance Well is Learning to Live Well
About the artist
Michelle Boulé is a choreographer, performer, teacher, healer, and coach currently living in Missoula, MT after being based in New York City for nearly 21 years. Her work has received commissions and presentations from The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, Triple Canopy, River to River Festival, Summer Stages Dance @ ICA Boston, Baryshnikov Arts Center, American Realness, ISSUE Project Room, 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 Riga, Latvia; Dublin, Ireland; Chicago, IL; Stockholm, Sweden; San Marcos, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; and Philadelphia, PA. Her collaborative duo with composer/cellist Okkyung Lee was 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 Acerina Amador at El Auditorio in Tenerife, Spain. She has also choreographed works for Zenon Dance, Eugene Lang College/The New School, California State University San Marcos, 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, Distinguished Legacy Award (University of IL), New Music USA Grant, Cloud Prize, Boekelheide Creativity Award, Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant. She has received residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development Program, Summer Stages Dance@The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, collective address, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Gibney, Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 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 collaborated with Miguel Gutierrez from 2001-2015, 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 Heather Kravas, Aine Stapleton, Bebe Miller, John Jasperse, John Scott, Deborah Hay, 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 has been on the teaching faculty at Movement Research, The New School/Eugene Lang College in New York, Hollins University, and the University of Illinois, as well as a guest teacher at Yale University, Princeton, Brown University, and dance institutions throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner since 2008 and life and business coach, Michelle has worked with several hundreds of clients all over the globe through her private and group online work.
My work as a choreographer, performer, and teacher begins with the body—the information it holds and conveys and how this relates to our individual and collective potential. 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.
When Ms. Boulé is onstage, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her…
Michelle Boulé is a force of nature. She dances like a volcano and I can’t take my eyes off her.
...Boulé’s strangely magical naïveté – opened up an uncanny space between experience and consciousness.
Choreography & Performance
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
- Art Healing Making Doing Being
- 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