Who Am I?
Micheline Heal graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Dance and East Asian Studies and the Helen M. Ward Memorial Award for excellence in Theater & Dance following a ten-year membership with the internationally touring American Chinese Arts Society’s Traditional Chinese Dance Troupe. She is the recipient of a 2011 Young Artist Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. In 2010 she received a Blank Canvas Residency at the Firkin Crane in Cork, Ireland – the foremost center for dance in Ireland – where she was the youngest artist in residence the center has ever had. In 2009 she interned with acclaimed sculptor and 2010 Guggenheim Fellow Blane De St. Croix during his Black and White Residency in Brooklyn, NY. She has received two project grants from Oberlin College’s Creativity & Leadership Fund in support of her artistic work. She is currently performing with Contradiction Dance, a dance-theater company based in Silver Spring, Maryland and the In Noon Dance Collective, a nationally based dance collective.
My Artistic Vision
Though my primary medium is dance, I refer to myself primarily an artist rather than a choreographer. As a choreographer, I work from a movement vocabulary based in my traditional Chinese dance background that expands upon contemporary modern technique. As an artist, I use dance to explore journeys of emotional transformation: from childhood to adulthood, from grief and denial to acceptance, from voyeurism to self-perception. My mission is to engage people of all levels of dance literacy by creating work that is visually stunning as well as artistically innovative. If a dance is easily forgotten, then the choreographer has lost all hope at transmitting the intended meaning. Through integrating projected media and character-driven narrative into my choreography, I infuse abstract movement with meaning. The end result is technologically augmented dance-theater.
I am raising money to pay my dancers for two upcoming projects this spring. The first is a public performance series – dance performed public places such as the sidewalks, public parks, and shopping malls that is geared toward an unsuspecting audience. The second is a performance run at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, generously granted by the Taffety Punk Theatre Company – for which I will be premiering two 25 minute long works: Not Waving, But Drowning and The Garden for Wayward Girls. Not Waving, But Drowning explores how the many facets of water reflect the range of human emotion. The Garden for Wayward Girls is a piece about growing up and how fairy tales influence out adult perspectives. Please follow the links for more information on those particular pieces.
Why I need you!
I’ve already done the bulk of the work to make these two performance projects a reality. I’ve found dancers, booked studio space, made and purchased costumes. I’ve already raised $3,600 from a DC Commission Young Artist grant and other sources, but I still need to raise an additional $2,500 to compensate my dancers for their time.
Funding for the arts is in a dire situation right now. Between 1988 and 1995, the average endowment budget for dance to be distributed across the country was $5.7 million out of a budget that ranged from $200 million to under $100 million. That funding for dance was cut to $2.7 million in 1996 and has been chipped at every year since. According to a 2009 State of the Arts report published by Americans for the Arts, between 1998 and 2007 the percentage of foundation funding dropped from 14.8% to 10.6%, and corporate giving dropped from the already slim 10.3% to a mere 4.6%. That’s for all of the arts, not just dance. Dance is a very skinny slice of the pie.
I have no one else to ask but you. Please, if you care about the arts, the dancers working on this project, or this young struggling artist, consider donating. Any small donation helps a dancer pay for dinner, or gas, or part of his or her rent check. In return for your support, I’m giving you the best rewards I can think of! And I’ll be eternally grateful to you.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking this time to read this. I hope you will consider backing this project and will spread the word to anyone else who you think might be interested.
All the best,
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