Michelle Bernier. Dance Artist.

Photo by Adam Riggs.

About Michelle

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, arts administrator, event producer,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.  I then attained an M.F.A.  in Dance Choreography and Performance, with secondary emphases in Somatics and Digital Media Studies, 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, Board of Directors

      -Dance Filmmaker and Videographer (independant)



UPCOMING Performances/Premiers/Projects

COMMUNITY DANCE FILM - BOULDER -- Ongoing (yes, with masks, outside, and 6 feet apart!)

I'm so thrilled to be directing a new film featuring the movers and shakers of Boulder doing what they do best in the city's most iconic locations! From ballet to samba, from Pearl Street to the Flatirons, there's never a dull moment on this project! Thanks to support from Boulder Arts and Culture and several individual donors, filming has just about completed, and we're moving into post production, including working with local musicians and a poet to create a unique sound score. Projected release: fall 2021.

DANCE FILM WITH LIFE/ART DANCE ENSEMBLE-- -- Ongoing (yes, with masks, outside, and 6 feet apart!)

As a dancer with the company, I was scheduled to tour throughout the U.S. and Canada this year, creating new work to the Bach Cello Suites-- a marriage of the Baroque social dancing that these suites were intended to emulate, and our company's signature blend of contemporary dance, all with a live cellist! Since the Tour has had to be put on hold, we're making a film version including solos and physically distanced duets, to continue to bring the dance hall hits of the 1700s to life! Projected release: summer 2021.

THE 17th ANNUAL SANS SOUCI FESTIVAL OF DANCE CINEMA-- Aug-Sept 2020

More info soon to come, but here's what to expect: 

• release of COVID-19/Quarantine films on our website and socials

• online screenings

• collaboration with partners in Brazil to produce a fully online 'Brazilian Edition' of the festival

• live online events such as panel discussions, workshops, lectures, and round table discussions


RECENT PAST Performances/Premiers/Projects

CONVERGENCE 2019 -- Friday and Saturday, Oct 25 & 26, 2019

I'm thrilled to once again be presenting work at this exciting and unique festival in Denver, produced by Life/Art Dance Ensemble. Sharing the stage with eight other choreographers/companies, I'll be presenting my latest work (the solo on Alberta Shulman mentioned above), as well as stage managing the show. Hope to see you there! More info at: https://www.lifeartdance.org/events.

UNSEEN FESTIVAL-- Sunday, Sept 29, 2019

This is a neat new festival in Denver that merges experimental film, dance, poetry, and more. I'm presenting a new solo I created on the fabulous Alberta Shulman, as well as a trio created on my students in the Airborne Dance Company.  Tickets and more info available here: http://counterpathpress.org/the-unseen-festival-2019-opening-night-friday-september-20-730pm-2-2-2-2-2-3-2


SANS SOUCI IN BRAZIL - Aug 2019

The Festival has been invited to collaborate with Grupo Dancaberta and the University of Campinas in Sao Paolo, Brazil! We're taking a FULL version of the festival, including screenings, multimedia performances, installations, lectures, workshops, and a round table talk. I'm thrilled to be performing a multimedia version of my newest film, Your Wake (in collaboration with Ana Baer).