I create evening-length performances that engage enduring philosophical questions around who we are and why we’re here. My work is about desire, longing and the search for meaning. I translate the experiential nature of performing into a sensory experience for the audience. I see myself continuing a legacy of experimentation that prioritizes process over product, and constantly re-defines form.
The people in my work perform with ferocious commitment, and shift in an instant between the ordinary and extraordinary, the heroic and the abject. Their urgent bodies – which convey a desire to be loved, to communicate, to understand the complexity of identity – work in concert with the equally important visual and sonic elements to demand an attentive state – a state in which we can acknowledge the privacy, richness and turbulence of our interior lives.
I am not so concerned with my audience understanding the individual actions in my work as I am with them feeling the aura, tone and sensibility of what these actions accumulate into. As our society moves increasingly towards a desire for quick answers, soundbites and immediate, disposable opinions, I feel an increasing need to use my work to say that confusion can be poetic, a learning state even, and that there are multiple truths that can be valid. To borrow a term from the locavore, organic food movement: I am making “slow” art, a space of contemplation for inconvenient, contradictory ideas.
Miguel Gutierrez assembled the first incarnation of the Powerful People in the fall of 2001 when he was invited for a choreographic residency in the pilot season of the Ensemble Studio Theater’s Lexington Center for the Arts. Never having been interested in a traditional model of a “company,” Gutierrez sees the participating artists in his work–dancers, composers, designers and visual artists–as part of an ever-expanding net of inspiring collaborators. Gutierrez’s interest in working with others is related to the questions in his work involving group identity and communal experience. He continues to work in solo form and on smaller scale pieces. Regardless of the size of the project, it is Gutierrez’s goal to create challenging and thought-provoking performance experiences. The work has enjoyed considerable attention in the printed and virtual press. The company is engaged to perform in venues across the country and internationally. Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People have created eight works: enter the seen, I succumb, dAMNATION rOAD Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies, myendlesslove, Everyone, Nothing, No thing, and Last Meadow.