American Realness

Michelle Boulé


THURS JAN 9 . 7:00 PM
FRI JAN 10 . 5:30 PM
SAT JAN 11 . 7:00 PM
SUN JAN 12 . 4:00 PM
SAT JAN 18 . 8:30 PM
SUN JAN 19 . 5:30 PM

Run time: 45 minutes

466 Grand Street / tickets $20

Single Tickets Festival Pass

In WONDER, Michelle Boulé mines the depth of information and perceptual patterns she has acquired through a lifetime of dance. Her choreographic drive, pushing her body into new dimensions of exposure, questions the culture of facades embedded in everyday life. In a continuous cycle of costumes and personas, Boulé explores archetypes and definitions of gender, identity, and virtuosity. The dance engages the audience in a purposeful relationship with the performer to mutually explore seeing and being seen. WONDER is an invitation to witness a body in the performance encounter where a shared space of curiosity and possibility is laid bare. Without wonder our eyes are closed.

WONDER was commissioned through ISSUE Project Room’s Emerging Artists Commission program, made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Residency support was provided by BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the New York Community Trust (Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for the Arts). Additional support provided by Caitlin Simpson and individual donors listed at

choreography & performance by Michelle Boulé
sound design by Carmine Covelli in collaboration with Michelle Boulé, includes ‘Hazel’ by Junior Boys; ‘Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)’ by Chic; ‘Love Come Down’ by Evelyn Champagne
text & costumes by Michelle Boulé
lighting design by Natalie Robin
choreographic advisor Levi Gonzalez

Thank you to my family, Carmine, Natalie, Levi, and Ben Pryor and the whole Realness team.  Many thanks also to my Leadership Circle, Kickstarter donors, and all the inspiring art-makers and partakers who have made and continue to make this work possible.

Michelle Boulé (choreographer, performer) is a choreographer, performer, teacher and BodyTalk practitioner based in New York.  Her work has been shown at ISSUE Project Room (Emerging Artist Commission), Mount Tremper Arts Festival, Dance and Process at The Kitchen, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research Festival, and Food for Thought at Danspace Project.  She is currently continuing work on a trio that was recently shown at Movement Research at Judson Church and at ‘Come Together: Surviving Sandy’ at Industry City presented by Danspace Project.  Her collaborative duo with composer/cellist Okkyung Lee was featured in ISSUE Project Room’s 10th Anniversary Season last fall and will be performed in 2014 in send + receive: a festival of sound in Winnipeg, Canada.  Boulé has been a choreographic assistant and performance coach for Deborah Hay solo adaptations, including an adaptation presented by El Auditorio in Tenerife, Spain.  Her work has received support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants 2013 and Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant 2012. She is a 2012-14 NY Movement Research Artist-in-Residence, and was a 2010 artist-in-residence at DanceHouse in Dublin, Ireland and at SKITE in Caen, France.  In 2002, she was a DanceWeb scholarship recipient at Impulstanz in Vienna.

As a performer, she has collaborated with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People since 2001, receiving a ‘Bessie’ for her performance as James Dean and collaboration in the creation of Last Meadow.  Other artists she has worked with include John Jasperse, John Scott, Deborah Hay, (William Forsythe commission If I Sing to You), David Wampach, Donna Uchizono, Neal Medlyn, Christine Elmo, Neal Beasley, Beth Gill, Judith Sanchez-Ruiz, Doug Varone (Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Opera Colorado), Gabriel Masson, and playwright/director Rosie Goldensohn.  She is part of the teaching faculty at The New School and at Movement Research in New York.  She has also been faculty at Hollins University and the University of Illinois, as well as a guest teacher at other dance institutions in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Carmine Covelli (sound design) is a performer, musician and filmmaker living in Brooklyn. He is a frequent performance collaborator with Adrienne Truscott, depict him on his horse, they will use the highways, Genesis, no!, HA: A Solo and Neal Medlyn, In The Air Tonight, Her’s A Queen, Brave New Girl, Wicked Clown Love; and can be seen playing the drums for Bridget Everett and The Tender Moments once a month at Joe’s Pub. His band, The Julie Ruin, will be touring Australia, US and Europe in 2014, after releasing their first full-length album this past September [].

This is his first time working with the wonderful Michelle Boulé and the process was incredibly satisfying and fun. Vive la dance!

Levi Gonzalez (choreographic advisor) is a NYC based dance artist whose work has been presented locally and internationally since 2001. He was a 2010-12 BAX Artist in Residence, and received a NYFA Choreography Fellowship in 2006. He collaborates regularly with luciana achugar, and has performed in the works of Donna Uchizono, John Jasperse, Juliette Mapp, ChameckiLerner, Daria Faïn, and Michael Laub, among others. Levi was a founding editor of Critical Correspondence, an online publication of Movement Research. He currently serves as Artistic Advisor for New York Live Arts’ Fresh Tracks Residency program, and as Programming Advisor for Movement Research, where he also teaches regularly.

Natalie Robin (lighting design) is a NYC-based lighting designer of theater, opera, dance, music and performance art. She is the associate producer of American Realness; a founding company member of Polybe + Seats; and an Associate Artist of Target Margin Theater. She is also an adjunct faculty member at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Department of Undergraduate Drama. Natalie is the winner of the Apollo Lighting 2011 Standing O Award and was chosen as a 2008 Young Designer to Watch by Live Design Magazine.  Natalie is a contributing writer to Live Design Magazine and Stage Directions. Natalie also tours as a lighting supervisor and production manager, for artists including Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People. BA: Columbia. MFA: NYU/Tisch