Michael Caldwell

I create work that responds to the site in which it takes place, in as many varied ways as can be imagined: What are the physical attributes of the site and how do they impact the work?; What is the relationship to the audience?; What is the ‘history’ of the site?; Are there any geopolitical or social or cultural structures in play?; In which ‘community' or ‘communities' does this work exist? ... 

This questioning occurs in traditional black-box, theatrical settings, as well as unconventional spaces.

I recently presented my first full-length choreographic work in September - a timely meditation on the complexities of human interaction for five (5) dancers - Factory. Much of the movement material in Factory is imbued with a constant sense of movement - vibrating, always shifting, bouncing, and circling through space. The work demands an expansiveness in time/space to allow the world to unfold, adopting a meditative and contemplative energy and tone.

I learned much from this choreographic experience. I discovered and began to refine a way-of-working with the dancers, that is based in the layering of physical and relational tasks, spatial dynamics, and deconstructed narrative. We delved deep into this work, though it still feels like there is so much more to mine and uncover.

I also created a short 15-minute work - Two/Fan - a study, as distillation of these movement principles. The aforementioned layering became more focused and refined.

After all this, I am now fascinated with this way of working with a solo interpreter... specifically how my own body responds and absorbs the years of questioning and uncovering. For Dance Matters in April, I am proposing a short 10- to 12-minute solo performance work, as the choreographer and interpreter.

'A Right Charlie' is a portrait/study of a solitary figure in time and space.  This work sits in the midst of a long-term fascination with, and investigation into my own movement language and its communicative power.

The world is such a crazy, complicated, and oft disconnected place. Yet we long for connection and understanding. My work confronts this idea, and manifests in physically-rigorous movement with theatrical underpinnings. I explore the relationship of the body as a communicative vehicle - in time and space, in full view of an audience.



Photo of Michael Caldwell by Lisa Hebert