About Michelle LaVigne

Michelle am a dancer, writer, and teacher. Currently, she teaches rhetoric at the University of San Francisco. Her writing/research focuses on the intersection of dance, rhetoric, and performance. In particular, Michelle writes about the persuasive qualities of dance movements and aesthetics, and how practices of rhetoric might be rethought from the movements of dance and choreographic praxis. She also very interested in embodied practices and is working on several collaborative projects about dance, rhetoric, and dialogic thinking.  Michelle has presented at national and international conferences and published reviews in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Text and Performance Quarterly, and Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Her writing has also appeared in Life as Modern Dancer and was a guest writer for the ODC Theater Writer in Residence Blog, Triple Dog Dare in 2014 and 2016.

About this Blog

In 2015, I embarked on a project to write about every dance I saw. From January 1st to December 31st, I went to 27 performances and saw 50 dances. I wrote about every single one and kept every program – I have a very large stack. This project emerged as a challenge to myself to develop a writing practice around dance. Embedded in this challenge was a desire to find out why dance matters (to me). By the end of the year, I realized that the writing enabled me to think about my practice as an audience member as part of a larger community of dance.

My commitment to this practice confirmed for me that dance matters because it is different, but that difference doesn’t mean that dance isn’t readable or understandable.  Yes, dance is often on the edge of being tangible, but at times, that almost-being-tangible can speak. When I watch and write dance I am curious about the speakability of this edge and am curious as to the questions a dance may provoke as well as the community it aims to invoke.


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