The University of Utah Department of Modern Dance Blog

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Alumni Profile :: Michael O'Connor

Photo: Georg Scheu

Michael O'Connor is a choreographer, performer, improviser and teacher. Since 2007 he has been based in Vienna, Austria. He worked with cie. Willi Dorner from 2003-2010 and performed and assisted in creating the work 'Bodies in Urban Spaces' worldwide in over 30 cities.  His Deborah Hay adaptation of 'NEWS' was presented at ImpulsTanz festival and he was part of David Zambrano's 'Tierras Enamorades' which was presented in Bruxelles.  He was listed in BalletTanz Magazine as the 'young dancer to watch' in 2008 for his piece 'a waiting dog dies.'  Additionally, his own work has been supported through residencies at ImpulsTanz with the guidance of Keith Hennessy and Ivo Dimchev, leading to works 'You are the Subject of my Seeing' and 'A General Theory of Love.'  His work looks at the intersection of cognitive science and dance, and he is currently furthering this practice with the support of the MA Choreography program at the Amsterdam University of the Arts with the mentorship of Guy Cools.  Michael has been guest artist faculty at Arizona State University twice and has taught at ImpulsTanz, SNDO, SEAD, TanzQuartier Wien and with festivals like DanceUmbrella: London, Tanz im August: Berlin and Philly Live Arts:Philadelphia. He is also a Fieldwork facilitator who helps guide artists in methods of feedback.  He has been able to develop Fieldwork in Vienna as an established program as well as bring this method to Istanbul, Turkey in 2012. Since his time at the University of Utah, Michael has been a proponent of art as research, and he is currently interested in love-empathy-metaphor as a triad that when approached from a cognitive science perspective, can possibly address ontological questions of body, relationship and environment as a performance practice.

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