1. October 2019 Newsletter

    Photo courtesy of J Chen Project

    Happy October newsletter! There are fun events, performances, and classes on the horizon with Spark Movement Collective, J Chen Project, Harvard Ballet Company, and much more.

    Photo by Chelsea Koenig

    Tonight at 7:15pm come to Gibney Dance to get a sneak peek into Spark Movement Collective! Spark celebrates TEN years and we are cooking up a diverse program! Light fare and drinks too!! Click below to reserve your seat.

    RSVP to Behind the Scenes 10/10 7:15 PM

    I partnered with composer Ryan Wolfe for my creation, "Untitled Home", for Spark Movement Collective. I knew I wanted this piece to explore aspects of home, how we construct sensations about the homes we grew up in, and how those memories are distilled in our minds as individuals and as a collective. I felt that Ryan’s detailed and textured sound would pair nicely with this concept. Ryan has the ability to be simultaneously sensitive and powerful in his music, which is something I also see in the Spark dancers. This new work will premiere November 8th and 9th, and I will also be performing in the show!

    Spark Movement Collective 11/8 & 11/9

    Photos by Mira Cook, Rachel Woods-Oshiro, & Ty Lyons Graynor

    October Classes:

    Just a few weeks ago I traveled to Boston to create a work for Harvard Ballet Company. I was so grateful to work with four talented dancers who learned everything in one weekend! I choreographed with music by my long time friend and creative partner Catherine Davis. These dancers will bring this piece to life October 18–20.

    I have been in the studio and falling in love with the dancers of J Chen Project! After winning the Core Choreography Competition this summer, I am delighted to create for this company directed by Jessica Chen. I have been collaborating with composer Grace Villamil, and she is creating an intricate and unique score that is deeply inspiring to me. This work explores rituals small and large, and the ways they can alter and change our lives. The ideas originate from gestural movements, but as we collaborate those movements will become stretched, altered, and dissected as a way to uncover and discover more. Come experience the premier on Saturday November 2nd at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater.

    Buy Tickets for J Chen Project 11/2

  2. September 2019 Newsletter

    Happy September newsletter! I am super pumped to share that my name was mentioned in The New York Times as part of StylePointe. The New York Times recommends you see this super unique performance that mixes fashion and dance. Come celebrate New York Fashion Week and my collaboration with fashion designer Zhihong Fu at Dixon Place Thursday September 12th! Also coming up this month is a new commission for Harvard Ballet and the continuation of works for Spark Movement Collective and J Chen Project.

    Read The New York Times Article

    Photos by Peter Yesley

    Tickets for StylePointe September 12th

    This week launched my commission for J Chen Project. Over the summer I was chosen as the 2019 winner of the Core Choreography Competition, and now I have the great pleasure to create for this company. Tickets haven't been officially announced, but you will get a special sneak-in-front-of-the-line opportunity. Click below to get your tickets for November 2nd at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.

    Tickets for J Chen Project November 2nd

    Photo by Peter Yesley

    As always, thank you for reading and thank you for supporting. I am feeling so much love from my community and I am so grateful for you! Cheers! —Michelle

  3. August 2019 Newsletter

    Happy August newsletter! I am so thrilled to announce that I am the 2019 Winning Choreographer of J Chen's CORE Choreography Competition!!! I will also be performing in the NYC Summer Streets Dance Festival, teaching classes, and preparing for fall choreography premieres. Keep reading to get all the fun details! As August is racing by, I am reminded that a new semester at Purchase College will be starting soon, and I am thrilled to see my students again!!!

    Photos by Steven Pisano

    Pictured above is my amazing cast of Uncovered Iteration (all Purchase graduates!):

    • Pascale Ussel
    • Kar'mel A. W. Small
    • Nikki d'Arnault
    • Andy Zhao

    This piece premiered at the Ailey Studios on June 29th as part of the J Chen Project CORE Choreography Competition. I partnered with composer Grace Villamil to develop this piece. I am so grateful for the dancers, Grace, and all of the audience members who came out! Thank you Jessica Chen for creating this opportunity and for choosing me!!! As the winner of this competition, I will create a new work on the J Chen Project Company Dancers. My work will premiere at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on November 2nd. SAVE THE DATE!!!

    Photos by Noel Valero

    I am thrilled to be performing with XAOC Contemporary Ballet in Eryn Renee Young's choreography tomorrow Saturday August 10th at 10am for a free, outdoor, public performance. This performance is part of the NYC Summer Streets Dance Festival and will take place at Astor Place.

    Come join me for class! Here is what August looks like:

    I am looking forward to presenting my choreography for StylePointe on September 12th at Dixon Place. StylePointe combines fashion and dance in a really unique and exciting way. Read the press release and/or watch this short video to learn more. I am collaborating with designer Zhihong Fu and we hope you can see our collaboration come to life on stage. Early bird pricing until August 31st! Get your tickets!!!

    Recently I had the opportunity to perform and present my work in Westport, Connecticut for a Leonard Bernstein Tribute. It was an incredible evening at the Levitt Pavilion with live music, dance, and a fantastic audience. Thank you to Terry Eldh for the opportunity and to Bethany Kellner, Maryann Massa, and Leo McGrath for a wonderful process and performance!

    Last bit of fun news... This past winter I was honored to work with director Lenny Bass on the music video, Let You In, with music by Pete Muller. The video was publicly released and I wanted to share it with you! It was a pleasure to work with the cast of dancers I brought into this project and I am so proud of the work we all did! Thank you Reginald Webber Jr., Brittni Genovese, Christiana Hunte, Eleanor Altholz, Nikki d'Arnault, and Lucas Olive Klinge. Thank you Lenny, Pete, and the whole crew! Watch the video online!

  4. July 2019 Newsletter

    Happy July newsletter!! There are lots of fun performances and classes on the horizon. I am teaching open ballet class at the Ailey Extension every Monday in July at 10:30am. I am also teaching for NYC $5 Community Ballet on Thursday July 18th at 10:30am at Battery Dance. This awesome group offers $5 ballet classes and they just received a write up in Dance Informa. Lastly, I will be teaching free Yoga at Sunset Park on July 31st at 6pm with NYC Yoga Project.

    I am excited to revisit my piece 20 Women for the Six Degrees Dance performance at The Mark O'Donnell Theater at the Actors Fund Arts Center in Brooklyn. This iteration will feature 6 women, and I am looking forward to reconnecting with this work and the dancers. The piece layers recorded text and movement in an intimate and deeply human way. I am excited to share a little slice of this amongst a really talented group of choreographers who are all separated by one degree of connection. Tickets are available for July 27th and 28th.

    I am performing TONIGHT in Brooklyn alongside Isaac Martin Lerner with music by Ryan Wolfe. The Theorist are hosting a site specific performance party with dance, live music, nibbles, and drinks. Details available for July 13th

    Photo by Jackson Krule

    My piece "Color Green" is coming back to New York at the Held Space Festival at 114 5th Avenue New York on Wednesday July 24th!!! I am thrilled to be working with Juliet Mazzola and Quaba Ernest again and to have live music by Damien Simon. This will be our fourth opportunity to present this work in New York! Tickets, available here, are free with a donation at the door. All proceeds will go towards a dance-based charity. Doors will open at 6pm with a special live music performance from Damien Simon and the show begins at 6:30pm.

    Thank you so much for reading and subscribing. I appreciate your support. Last month as I was about to begin class, I asked a former student how she knew that I was teaching and she said, "I read it in your newsletter". And at that moment I was so pumped! This mode of communication works and helps me reach you! Stay tuned for next month where I have an outdoor performance in Westport, Connecticut on August 1st, and preparations for New York Fashion Week Collaborations.

  5. May 2019 Newsletter

    Happy May newsletter & Happy Mother's Day! I am excited to share performances, events, classes, and exciting news with you this month! Get out your calendars and let's make a date!



    Commissioned by PRELUDE PROJECTS, Receptre will be performed in a scene by artists Grace Villamil + Maximilian Rödel, within the exhibition It Started with a Spark. Villamil has composed an original score for both dance + place, which she will perform live. Choreographed by Michelle Thompson Ulerich, and danced by Marissa Frey + Isabelle Seiler, Receptre will be performed on three occasions.

    All performances start promptly at 7:30PM + run 15 minutes. The final performance will close the exhibition.


    Photo by Jackson Krule from the NACHMO Gala

    Return's Siren Song is coming back on May 18th at the Arts on Site Performance Party with live music by Ryan Wolfe. This event is donation based and lots of fun. I met Ryan at this event back in November while I was performing another piece and he was also working with another choreographer. During our pre-show wait time, we exchanged information and decided we should try to collaborate. Flash forward 5 months and Return's Siren Song has been performed 4 different times in 4 different venues and I am very excited to come full circle back to Arts on Site. Also, super sweet to have Quaba and Kar'mel dancing together one last time. They are graduating next week from Purchase College and I have enjoyed every moment with them! Come check it out!

    The Performance Party is a monthly event that provides artists with a platform to share their work and encourages collaboration among a community of art enthusiasts. The event features a selection of eight performing artists from music, dance, theater, and the healing arts. The event also includes visual art with free prints from a select visual artist. Admission is a $10 suggested donation and event is BYOB with a donation bar serving beer.

    It was such a treat to see my choreography performed at The Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York last month alongside my collaborator/composer, David Heckendorn. Did you miss it? Are you interested in heading to Hartford, CT? Ballet Hartford will be performing my work, Inner Chamber, at University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, CT on May 18th and 19th. Tickets are available.

    It was such a dream to collaborate with visual artist Justine Hill for CountePointe, reviewed here. Thank you Andy Zhao and Catherine Gurr for your dancing, Colin Rose for your music, Erica Johnston for your help with the costumes, and Norte Maar for the opportunity and curation of the show.

    Photo by Ballet Zaida

    Last but not least, I am teaching Ballet on Monday May 20th from 10am-11:30am at Battery Dance. Follow NYC Community Ballet to stay up to date on $5 classes!

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