1. Fourth Newsletter

    Happy August! This month I am excited to travel to Connecticut to create for Ballet Hartford (formerly Vivid Ballet). The artistic director, Elizabeth McMillan, has commissioned me to create a concert length piece for her company. I am honored to have this opportunity, and I am looking forward to getting into the studio and working with the dancers. I have been working with composer David Heckendorn, and I am thrilled to be working with his compositions.

    Photo by Farid Zarrinabadi from an intimate duet entitled "Ladder" (video)

    Save the date! I am excited to announce a series I will be launching at Factory ArtSpace in New York called Movement of Intimacy. My first evening will premiere on Saturday September 29th at 7pm. The show combines my choreography with live music in an intimate setting. The evening will include live, original compositions by David Heckendorn, Damien Simon, and other special guests. I hope you can join me. More details to come in my September Newsletter...

    Join me for some fun and challenging open ballet classes hosted by NYC $5 Community Ballet. I will be teaching this coming Monday August 13th, and I have a special musical surprise. I will also be teaching on Labor Day (September 3rd). Classes are held at Battery Dance from 11:30am-1:00pm. Stay up to date on their page for more $5 classes.

    Photo and photo at the top of the newsletter by Melissa Wu for TRANSLATE (Voices of Dance)

    "The Dream" premiered at TRANSLATE in June, and I am excited to bring this duet to other venues. It has been a pleasure to work with the very talented Louisa Pancoast and to move to the music of Dana Falconberry. We are looking forward to performing at Factory ArtSpace on September 29th. Stay tuned for more opportunities to see us partnered together.

    Exciting news for my friend and collaborator Catherine Davis! A piece of music composed by her for our Illusory Impressions immersive show (pictured here) was featured on Strangers. "The Balcony" is featured about 19 minutes into the episode, and it was incredible to hear her emotional music come to life in a different landscape. Congratulations Catherine!

    Thank you for reading! I hope to see you soon.

  2. Third Newsletter

    Welcome to my third newsletter and happy July!

    On Saturday June 30th I embarked on a flight to Los Angeles to join my uncle, Sam Aslanian, because we were going to have our long awaited gallery opening. It was a fantastic evening at Visual Artists Group filled with energy and interest for the work. Thank you to David Naylor, Bobby Woods, and others who helped bring the event to life. It was deeply enjoyable to hear how people connected to the work and I was so in love with the way Sam captured the dancers. Sam uses a collection of 1960's and 70's SLR's, and an assortment of long outdated 35mm film, which gives his photographs a uniqueness and vulnerability that is quite different than digital. Our next goal is to have a show in San Francisco and New York.

    Photo by Sam Aslanian

    People who could not attend the gallery opening have been asking me to see more images and more process. I have amazing news! During the collaboration each one of the couples performed multiple runs of the duet and it was during this time that Tom Andre captured my choreography on film. My cousin, Ellie Aslanian, then took the large amount of footage (much of which Sam was in), and created this incredible film of our Dark Waltz concept shot in Brooklyn. I was blown away when I saw what Ellie had created! The moments she chose for each couple, the connections and emotions she pulled out, and the seamlessness she created in the piece. Sam's photographs are a much fragmented and abstracted view of this dance, but we wanted to share this layer of the work to all you. The piece was created to "This is a Lie" by The Cure, which was a fun challenge to create with because it is so different from other musical selections I have used in past projects. I hope you enjoy this dance film!

    I teach yoga to clients either in home or at the park. I have some openings in July and August, and I am offering some sweet deals. Please email me if you would like to set up some sessions. I also specialize in Pre and Postnatal yoga. Here are some older videos I made with Farid Zarrinabadi in Austin, TX if you are interested in some home practice options: Standing Postures, Seated Flow, Twisting, Hip Opening, Core Flow, Table Top Warm Up

    I am teaching for NY Community Ballet, and classes are only $5 cash! I am teaching this Thursday July 12th 10:30am-12 noon at Battery Dance on the 5th Floor. Check out their Facebook page or Instagram for more $5 classes.

    Thank you for reading. In my next newsletter, I look forward to sharing more about my collaboration with Dana Falconberry and other upcoming commissions for 2018.

  3. Second Newsletter

    Photo by Ballet Zaida taken in Downtown LA January 2018

    Welcome to my second newsletter and happy June!

    I am excited to announce that I will be performing with Louisa Pancoast in my newest work on Friday June 29th at 7:30pm at Dixon Place in New York City. I have partnered with the immensely talented musician Dana Falconberry for this upcoming duet. We will perform alongside many talented artists for TRANSLATE (voices of dance), which is curated by the J Chen Project. Early bird pricing lasts until June 16th, but tickets can be purchased after that date online and at the door.

    Also on tap are some awesome ballet classes organized by NYC Community Ballet. I will be teaching Thursday June 14th at 11:30am with an excellent musical surprise, and also on July 12th. Classes are $5 cash and take place at Battery Dance. You can stay up to date on their classes on Facebook or Instagram.

    My final and huge announcement is the photography collaboration with my uncle Sam Aslanian is going to get a premiere in Hollywood, CA. This project involved 15 collaborators, a warehouse in Brooklyn, a bar in Queens, a makeup artist, costumes, two intimate dance concepts, many cameras, numerous rolls of film including a myriad array of long outdated 35mm film, and many phone conferences between my uncle and me. This project was a labor of love for both of us. The photographs are not traditional dance poses or forms. Sam and I were working towards something more raw, abstracted, and filled with emotion. I cried when I saw what he had captured, because he showed me another layer of the movement. Sam and his lens became another member of the dance, and I find his images to be captivating, sensual, and human. I am so excited to stand by my uncle's side on June 30th and be surrounded by the beauty we have created together. Hope to see you there!

  4. Inaugural Newsletter

    Photo by Ballet Zaida taken in Downtown LA January 2018

    Welcome to my newsletter... I was recently telling a friend about my choreography, "The Pairings", which I had created for the SUNY Purchase College Spring Concert with a new score by Joshua Piper, and she said, "I had no idea you were doing that." Multiple people have encouraged me to make a newsletter, so here it is. I will reach out once a month with classes, performances, and collaborations. Hope you enjoy! If you are not interested, there's an unsubscribe link below.

    Coming up I will be teaching open class for NYC Community Ballet, which holds ballet classes for only $5! I will be teaching on Monday May 21st and Thursday May 31st 11:30am-1pm. All classes are held at Battery Dance (380 Broadway).

    Also, my immersive show Illusory Impressions with Co-Director, Catherine Davis, was recently nominated by the Austin Critics Table Awards. Thank you for the nomination! Here is a behind the scenes look at Illusory Impressions: A Study In Release.

    Photo by Sharen Bradford of "Day Vignettes" created for Avant Chamber Ballet

    Pointe Magazine featured me for a piece about Avant Chamber Ballet's Women's Choreography Project. I was chosen to create a piece on the company in March 2018.

  5. Pandora

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Performed by Ballet Spartanburg
    • Commissioned by Ballet Spartanburg for Dan Synergy 9: Celebrating the Power of Women
    • Original score by by Damien Simon
    • Preview by Danceinforma

  6. Planets

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Commissioned and performed by Ballet Austin II
    • Created to Chopin made accessible by Musopen
    • Made possible by an National Endowment for the Arts Choreographic Mentorship Grant

  7. The Velveteen Rabbit

    Show logo

    Spark premieres a contemporary take on the well-loved story The Velveteen Rabbit by combining dance, shadow play, and puppetry to create an engaging show for families to enjoy together. This new twist on a classic has a resounding emphasis on the importance of play. In the show, the title character is tossed aside for more high-tech toys. Once the Velveteen Rabbit is picked up by its companion, the Boy, they go on many imaginary adventures together. From the Velveteen Rabbit and the Boy traveling to a magical garden to deep-sea diving, the audience witnesses how using one’s imagination has no limits. This show is for all ages.

    • Saturday, March 4 with shows at 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM
    • The Town School at 540 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
    • Tickets $10 in advance or $15 at the door
    • Featuring Serena Chang, Matt Dittes, Melissa Herchakowski, Brent Radeke, Kristen Santos, Michelle Thompson Ulerich, and Reginald Webber Jr.
    • Guest performance by Ella Mansager
    • Choreography by Chelsea Koenig
    • Lighting by Steph Wessels
    • Puppet design by Patrick Weigand

  8. Yoga Flow: Core Tone & Energy

    (3 minutes) Ignite your power center with this Eagle variation. Take your Eagle posture onto your back and draw your toes and fingers away as you inhale and then hug your body in on your exhale. Draw your low belly in, tack your navel towards your spine, and knit your ribs together. Be mindful to start the movement from your deep core, and resist the urge to use momentum. If there is any strain in your low back, please make the movement smaller and more fine tuned. (Video by Farid Zarrinabadi)

  9. Yoga Flow: Seated Flow

    (8 minutes) Enjoy a balancing seated flow that incorporates forward folds and heart openers. Helps to bring ease to the backs of your legs, brightness to your heart, and a delightful opportunity to open your hips. Incorporate a strap for the forward folds and invite a blanket under the sits bones for modification options. (Video by Farid Zarrinabadi)

  10. Yoga Flow: Seated Hip Opening

    (16 minutes) Breathe deep and encourage opening in your hips, legs, and sides of your body. Send compassion and patience into your body, heart, and mind as you meet each moment. Check in with the smoothness of your jaw and face muscles, maybe even lifting the corners of your mouth into a smile. (Video by Farid Zarrinabadi)

  11. Yoga Flow: Standing Postures

    (48 minutes) Allow Tadasanda (Mountain Pose) to be your home base as you enjoy connection and alignment in this grounding flow. (Video by Farid Zarrinabadi)

  12. Yoga Flow: Tabletop Warm Up

    (3 minutes) Connect with your body and breath as you move through this simple table top warm up. (Video by Farid Zarrinabadi)

  13. Yoga Flow: Twisting

    (28 minutes) Invite creativity, movement, and circulation with this twisting flow. Practice with a block to bring more ease to your twists and legs or practice without a block for a bit more intensity. (Video by Farid Zarrinabadi)

  14. Austin 360 Review of Belle Redux

    Jeanne Claire van Ryzin reviewed Ballet Austin's premier of Belle Redux: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast for austin360:

    "...the final pas de deux of Belle (danced by Michelle Thompson who shared the role with Aare Krumpe) and Beast (Edward Carr who shared the role with Paul Michael Bloodgood), brought a refined elegance and emotional impact to the ending.... Thompson and Carr were at the most nuanced here too, their partnering dramatically seamless and heartfelt."

  15. Performances

    Ballet Austin's 2014–2015 Season

    The Firebird
    Sep 26–28, 2014 at The Long Center
    Choreography by Stephen Mills
    Music by Igor Stravinsky

    The Nutcracker
    Dec 6–23, 2014 at The Long Center
    Choreography by Stephen Mills
    Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

    Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & The Beast
    Feb 13–15, 2015 at The Long Center
    Choreography by Stephen Mills
    Score by Graham Reynolds

    Director's Choice
    Mar 27–29, 2015 at The Long Center
    Luminaria by Stephen Mills; music by Jordi Savall
    One / the body's grace by Stephen Mills; music by Bach and Handel
    World Premiere by Jennifer Hart

    Swan Lake
    May 8–10, 2015 at The Long Center
    Choreography by Marius Petipa & Lev Ivanov
    Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

  16. A Path of Light and Dark

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Performed by MOTION Dance Theatre
    • Music by Francis Poulenc, Catherine Davis, Erik Satie, and Arcade Fire
    • Live accompaniment by Patricia Black
    • Performed at Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville

  17. Rem

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Produced by Ballet Zaida
    • Performed by Oren Porterfield, [Jordan Moser] (https://www.facebook.com/jordanmosermusic), and Nicole Voris
    • Music by Jordan Moser
    • Directed by Oliver Endahl
    • Special thanks to Zac & The Museum of Human Achievement in Austin

  18. Ladder

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Commissioned for San Angelo Civic Ballet's annual company gala
    • Performed by Michelle Thompson and Michael Burfield
    • Filmed at Austin Ventures Studio Theatre, Austin
    • Music by Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Moby
    • Debuted at Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage, San Angelo

  19. Here and Gone

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Produced by Steve Parker for a presentation of John Cage's Musicircus
    • Live accompaniment by Michelle Schumann
    • Awarded Best Chamber Performance of 2012 by The Austin Critics Table
    • Performed at Blanton Museum of Art, Austin

  20. And Then We Were 7

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Music by Vivaldi
    • Performed by Young Artists of Ballet Austin
    • Performed at Austin Ventures Studio Theatre

  21. (i like you)

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Music by M. Ward and Jordan Moser
    • Performed by Trainee Division of Ballet Austin
    • Performed at Austin Ventures Studio Theatre

  22. Coy

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Music by Arcangelo Corelli
    • Performed by Young Artists of Ballet Austin
    • Performed at Austin Ventures Studio Theatre

  23. The Look

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Performed by Young Artists of Ballet Austin
    • Performed at The University of Texas at Austin's Bass Concert Hall
    • Music by Burt Bacharach

  24. Wind

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Performed by Upper Division Students of Ballet Austin
    • Performed at The University of Texas at Austin's Bass Concert Hall
    • Music by Fritz Kreisler

  25. Garden Party

    • Choreography by Michelle Thompson
    • Music by Yann Tierson
    • Performed by Trainee Division of Ballet Austin
    • Performed at Helm Fine Arts Center, Austin