Michelle Bernier. Dance Artist.
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, so 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, phenomenology, site-specific improvisation, and the malleability of space-time.
• BA in Philosophy summa cum laude, University of Southern Maine
• M.F.A. in Dance Choreography and Performance, University of Colorado: Boulder (secondary emphases in Somatics and Digital Media Studies)
• Executive Director and Artistic Co-Director of Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema
• Dancer/Choreographer, Member of Board of Directors, Life/Art Dance Ensemble
• Dancer, Cindy Brandle Dance Company
• Dance Instructor, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
• GuestTeacher, Dance Film class at Doral Academy
• Freelance Dance Filmmaker and Workshop Facilitator
DANCE FILM LECTURE - at CalArts
The amazing Francesca Penzani has just invited me to come play! Hooray! We're currently in the process of scheduling a talk at California Institute of the Arts School of Dance for her Dance Film class. Thanks to Zoom, I'll be able to meet the students digitally, and share some resources.I can't wait to connect with these students!
SHOOTING A DANCE FILM - in collaboration with Frequent Flyers Productions
I've just signed on to collaborate with the longtime Boulder-based aerial dance company to shoot an upcoming project. Details are still under wraps, but stay tuned!
PERFORMING IN A DANCE FILM - in collaboration with Jeanine McCain
I was honored when Jeanine McCain asked me to collaborate on a project last summer. The idea of the project was simple: dance in a space that is meaningful to you. As it turns out, we both shared a very close friend who had passed away recently, and whose family was selling the house we'd all come to know and love. We were granted permission to gather there one last time, and shot a dance film the gardens surrounding the property, and enjoy some memories together. The process was unbelievably moving, and I can't wait to see where the editing process takes us!
DIRECTING A COMMUNITY DANCE FILM - Currently in post-production
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 been completed, and we're deep into post production, including working with local musicians and a poet to create an original sound score. Projected release: fall 2021.
"TURBULENCE" - Screening with two festivals - January & August 2021
So excited to share that the film I made with Ana Baer featuring Ondine Geary and Kim Olson (with music by Russel Podgorsek) in 2019 is headed to two more festivals this year! FilmFest by Rogue Dancer: Land... SCAPE Edition! (December 18 to Jan 3 online), and The BeBop Channel Dance and Theatre Film Festival 2021 (up now at beboptv.com, and in person in N.Y. in August). So grateful to add these selections to the list, after screening at Screendance Festival and Esmoa Video Art Festival already this year! We are so proud of this tiny film that keeps on chugging along.
"IMITATION & SPLATTERY" - Screening at FilmFest By Rogue Dancer - August 2021
The short film I completed in 2017 has been slated for FilmFest By Rogue Dancer: A Lil' Dirty Edition (Aug. 2021). One of the things I love most about filmmaking is how long a piece of work can live on... and this one just keeps going!
CBDC PROJECTS - Performing in work with Cindy Brandle Dance Company - through Oct 2021
I'm so proud to share that I've been accepted as a new member with the Cindy Brandle Dance Company. Rehearsing weekly online, we're excited to be working together to make new work in these wild times. We're currently shooting a film in Boulder County, to be released at a company festival in April. We've got our eyes on a live performance at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder in October -- keep your fingers crossed!
RECENT PAST Performances/Premiers/Projects
DANCE FILM WORKSHOP - CODEO ANNUAL CONFERENCE - Jan 2021
I'll be presenting once again at Colorado Dance Educators Organization's Annual Conference on January 23, 2021, from 1-2pm MST. In this 60 minute session co-presented with Emily Hoch, we'll highlight ways you can utilize dance film in your dance classroom -- in-person and virtually! CODEO members must register for the conference to be able to attend the session.... but if you're looking for help bringing this work into your classroom, you can always contact me directly through the contact form on this website.
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! Released summer/fall 2020.
THE 17th ANNUAL SANS SOUCI FESTIVAL OF DANCE CINEMA-- Aug-Sept 2020
• release of COVID-19/Quarantine films on our website and socials
• 15 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
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.
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).