Miguel Gutierrez lives in Brooklyn and makes performances. He has been called “one of our most provocative and necessary artistic voices” by Eva Yaa Asantewaa at Dance Magazine. His work engages persistent philosophical questions about the search for meaning and joins a legacy of process-focused experimental dance while drawing on influences such as endurance-based performance art, noise music, ecstatic experience in social and religious rituals, the study of mind-body somatic systems, and various histories of spectacle including Broadway and queer club performance. His pieces include enter the seen (2002), I succumb (2003), dAMNATION rOAD (2004), Sabotage (with Jaime Fennelly 2001-2004), Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies (2005 Bessie Award), myendlesslove (2006), Everyone (2007), Nothing, No thing (2008), Last Meadow (2009 Bessie Award), HEAVENS WHAT HAVE I DONE (2010) and And lose the name of action (2012) and Storing the Winter with Mind Over Mirrors (2013).
His most recent body of work is the Age & Beauty series.
Age & Beauty Part 1: Mid-Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/ premiered as part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
Age & Beauty Part 2: Asian Beauty @ the Werq Meeting or The Choreographer & Her Muse or &:@& premiered at AMERICAN REALNESS in 2015.
Age & Beauty Part 3: DANCER or You can make whatever the fuck you want but you’ll only tour solos or The Powerful People or We are strong/We are powerful/We are beautiful/We are divine or &:’/// premiered at Live Arts Bard at the Fisher Center for the Arts at Bard College in the Fall of 2015.
His work has been presented by venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music in NYC, Festival D'Automne and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, ImPulsTanz in Vienna, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MCA Chicago, PICA's TBA Festival in Portland, the Flynn Center in Burlington and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Art, United States Artists, Lambent Foundation, and New York Foundation for the Arts, as well as support from MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation, Creative Capital, and the NEA. He has been an artist in residence at Maggie Allessee National Center for Choreography, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Centre Choréographique National de Montpellier, Baryshnikov Art Center, Gibney Dance Center and several universities.
He has created one-off pieces for a host of venues, such as a collaboration with Jenny Holzer for the Boston ICA, an evening of performative interventions that were part of the Regarding Warhol exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an hour-long performance for Courtesy the Artist’s residency during Performa 2013 at Recess Gallery, and a performance response to the Re-defining Actionism show at MUMOK in Vienna in partnership with ImPulsTanz. In 2013 he spent a week performing outdoors at the Roskilde Music Festival as one of the Holy Sisters of the Church of Beer, a project initiated by Jeremy Wade as part of his Maximum Service series. He has created commissions for Philip Adams’ BalletLab in Melbourne, The Fondue Set in Sydney, LabCo in Pittsburgh, Fauxnique/Monique Jenkinson in San Francisco, and Movement Forum in Salt Lake City. He has also participated in a variety of research/non-production based projects such as artist exchanges in Russia and Hungary that were supported by DTW’s The Suitcase Fund, an exchange with choreographer Luke George that was supported by Arts House in Melbourne, and a MANCC supported project with choreographer Alex Ketley where they drove through the American deep south in order to meet, interview and perform for strangers.
As a dancer he worked with Joe Goode Performance Group, Jess Curtis, Knee Jerk Dance Project, High Risk Group, Jennifer Monson, Juliette Mapp, Erin Cornell, Sarah Michelson, Alain Buffard, Deborah Hay, Ann Liv Young, Yvonne Meier, Mark Morris Group. For his work in John Jasperse Company he received the first Bessie for ensemble performance.
When he had a loft in Bushwick from 1996-2005 he curated a series of performance parties which led to curating the infamous Young Americans show at Food for Thought in 2003, SHTUDIO SHOW at Chez Bushwick from 2005-2006, and the Dance and Process program at the Kitchen in 2006 and 2007.
He’s read at the Poetry Project, People Herd, GUTS, Radar, and was in residence in 2012 at RadarLAB in Mexico. His writing has appeared in the Movement Research Journal, Emily Roysdon’s Uncounted, online in his blog about celebrities called Stargayze.com, handjob the zine and quick to pop zine and his short essay “The Perfect Dance Critic” has been featured in several international publications. His book of performance texts WHEN YOU RISE UP is available from 53rd State Press. His work is discussed in Jenn Joy’s book The Choreographic, published by MIT Press.
He has choreographed and performed in music videos for Diane Cluck, Holcombe Waller and Le Tigre (which went viral and produced various copycat videos), has performed as a singer with Antony and the Johnsons, Nick Hallett, My Robot Friend, Justin Vivian Bond, Holcombe Waller, Vincent Segal and Kid Millions. He has created original music for several of his stage works and has released two albums under the moniker The Belleville. He is featured in David Thorpe’s documentary “Do I Sound Gay?”, Marc Huestis’ “Sex Is,” and Michael Wallin’s “Black Sheep Boy.”
He leads workshops in his approach to creative practice all over the world and has taught at ImPuls Tanz in Vienna, CND in Paris, CNDC/Angers, American Dance Festival, the MFA program at Hollins University, and in New York at New School/Eugene Lang, Hunter College, Gibney Dance Center, and Movement Research, among many other places. He invented DEEP AEROBICS, an absurdist workout for the radical in all of us, which has been foisted upon people all over the world and which was used to warm up audiences for The Knife “Shaking the Habitual” tour. From 2006-2015 he served as a volunteer mentor for TDF's Open Doors program. He was the winner of the PS 122 One Minute Dance Contest in 2000, and in 1987 as a 16 year old he was one of the original Club MTV dancers. He is a guild certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method® and he studies voice with Barbara Maier. He sits on the Danspace Project artists advisory board.
photo by Alex Escalante