At the young age of 23, choreographer, Micheline Heal arrives in Washington, D.C. to bring more attention to the dance community. Excitedly, she exclaims, “Let’s bring more dancers to DC!” She’s a vibrant dreamer with a sense of compassion.
After traveling the dance world of New York and London, she chose DC to be the home of her dance company. She feels it was “more welcoming.” The DC arts community has been receptive. This is evident as she was the youngest contemporary artist to be awarded the DC Arts and Humanities Grant. In addition to this support, local theater company, Taffety Punk has joined Heal to present her work. With a successful Kickstarter campaign, she was spotlighted as Washington, D.C.’s City’s Best.
Exclusively with http://www.examiner.com she announces the name of her dance company to be MichMash Productions. Her style is contemporary choreo-plays with Chinese traditional dancing which she has practiced for 10 years.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Heal manages her rehearsals with ease. There is no drilling or yelling of 5, 6, 7, 8! Her creative process is examining the dancer and their emotions during performance. It’s her curiosity, which enables her to create the next step, resulting in feeling to movement. “I like being surprised. I enjoy laughing and having fun, which ends of being brilliant. I prefer to work in a relaxing environment…the value of playtime and bonding. Where there is trust, magical things happen.”
MichMash Productions will be opening for Taffety Punk’s Dance Festival, led by Artistic Director, Marcus Kyd. Heal’s piece, The Garden for Wayward Girls will be shown at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop on May 20 at 8:00 p.m., May 21 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This multi-media performance was presented in Ireland in 2010 where she received a Blank Canvas Residency at the Firkin Crane in Cork, Ireland. This re-worked piece explains the loss of childhood innocence. “I wanted to show the examination of fairy tales. The garden is not where the girls should be. They’re waiting between childhood and growing up.” When asked if she is one of the ‘wayward girls.’ She ponders, “Maybe. Life is all about continual discovery. I prefer creating rather than performing.”
Heal believes performances are like diaries. “I don’t think my pieces are open books. I don’t know if that’s possible. My choreography is rather dark.” She likes to quote William Faulkner, ‘the problem of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.’ She goes on to express, “maybe struggle is my thing.”
With all the support she has been given, Heal continues to perfect her craft and overall positioning of her dance company. “Til the end, I think of what could’ve been done. I get the nerve to analyze video of past performances. I’m always perfecting.”
With an infectious smile, Heal is looking forward to more encouragement from her community. Humbly, she feels she doesn’t deserve it, however selflessly sends her appreciation to her company. It’s easy to lend a hand to this ambitious choreographer. Heal has a warm characteristic that is needed in the critical world of dance. Her dancers are essentially volunteers. “I owe everything to them.”
Heal is set to create new choreo-plays to jazz love songs. “I love what I do. I love moving through space. I’m most satisfied in moving the audience in some way. It reinforces why I chose this. It’s nice to be recognized”
For tickets please, visit, http://taffetypunk.com/shows.html