Michelle Bernier. Dance Artist.
Thanks for visiting my site! I am a forward-thinking, twenty-first century mover, and in terms of the many hats I wear, I'm a dancer, choreographer, teacher, filmmaker, and scholar. Also, the occasional fedora. My career has thankfully found me engulfed in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, postmodern, contemporary, and countless social styles; I no longer prefer to self-identify as a specific type of dancer. I tend to work in companies which endorse a collaborative environment, dismissing the hegemonic, top-down organizational style with other mistakes of the last century. My research and choreographic interests include somatic-inclusive pedagogical methods, dance phenomenology, site-specific experimentation, and the malleability of space-time.
After countless hours agonizing over the biggest questions in life, I finally attained a BA in Philosophy summa cum laude from the University of Southern Maine. Since that wasn't traumatic enough, and since my inner hopeless romantic motivates me relentlessly, I then attained an M.F.A. in Dance Choreography and Performance, with secondary emphases in Somatics and Dance Film, at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Although the latest neuroscience is actually starting to prove our brains are incapable of true multi-tasking, I'm attempting to defy the science, by holding the following positions simultaneously:
~Executive Director of Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema
~Tour Ensemble Director at Airborne Dance
~Life/Art Dance Ensemble Dancer, Choreographer, and Board Member
I have created my own path, in life and in dance, in a slow and careful process in consideration of best practices for safety and respecting the individuals, and the exercising of noble truths. My finished works can often be complex compilations of sound, color, light, film, and movement, with every layer deliberately placed. I use parody and satire frequently and prefer to view those who dance in my pieces as humans first, and dancers coincidentally.
" 'Slow Motion,' by Michelle Bernier ... featured artfully repeated motifs and thoughtful composition with creative use of silence. " ~Jennifer Brewer, Portland Press Herald, March 2010
"Michelle embraces the quirks of each dancer she works with and develops these quirks into amazing and captivting works. She has the rare talent of knowing subtlety." ~Meghan Larson, Independent Dance Artist
"Instinctually, Michelle delves into each individual in the rehearsal process to draw out her strength as a dancer and platform her creativities in the most interesting light. As a dancer, I have found it a joy to work in such a calm, creative and productive environment under the direction of an authority on dance who holds vision for the future adaptations and progressions of the art." ~Rose Metcalf, BA Hons. Theatre-Dance
"Life in Motion" Colorado Dance Film Festival - February 23, 2019
Colorado's only 'locals-only' dance film festival, hosted by Life/Art Dance Ensemble. Entries have closed, and we're currently in curation. Accepted films will be announced December 15, and the screening will be help Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
Sans Souci in Brazil - May 2019
Sans Souci is hopping a plane... to Brazil! We couldn't be more pleased to announce a few "first-evers" for us: the first time we'll have a second call-for-entries in the same year, the first time we'll be co-producing an event in South America, and the first time we'll specifically highlight artists from Brazil in their own event. What a treat! For more info you can visit the event website or check out SansSouciFest.org.
Life/Art Community Dane - May 2019
Life/Art is turning 10! Our Ten Year Anniversary show in May will feature the premiere of my newest work, a dance created on and in collaboration with dancers who have collaborated with us in the past. We'll be inviting back dancers from past "Convergence" showcases to co-create a piece, and give us all the opportunity to get dancing together one more time!