The Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble is a contemporary dance company that specializes in commissioning new music for dance and incorporating musicians into the visual imagery. Sharing the stage and the focus, our dancers and musicians break the boundaries of traditional ensemble interaction. Performance works include original choreography and music as well as improvisation by all performers, creating a spontaneous performance environment where anything can happen. The Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble is known for innovative format, bold subject matter, and wide range of music spanning from classical to jazz to avant-garde and experimental.
Recent performances include the Mark Morris Dance Center in February 2017, where we presented the New York premiere of IN AN OUT OF THE SHADOWS, inspired by John Cassevetes’ film SHADOWS, with music by Grammy-nominated composer and trumpeter Tim Hagans.
“Lovely dancers and intensely focused musicians. The late-'50s era of Cassavetes' American take on the New Wave was unquestionably evoked."
- Mindy Aloff
Upcoming projects include the premiere of What Will You Do When You Feel Their Absence, exploring the ramifications of the current treatment of immigrants to the United States at the Midtown Arts & Theater Complex Houston (MATCH) on August 16, 2017, and a performance presented by the Jazz Loft in Stony Brook, NY in September 2017.
In April 2016 the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble performed the premiere of Groove-Fish with choreography by Michele Brangwen and music by the Grammy-nominated bassist and composer Rufus Reid, who also performed in the work. In October 2015, the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble performed at the Mark Morris Dance Center, and in May 2015 we were presented by the ShapeShifter Lab in New York City. In June 2015, we joined with the Houston Composers Salon to present the Big Two-Hearted Festival, featuring new music and dance, at Studio 101 Theatre in Houston. In Fall 2014 we premiered the second season of ARTCAST, our Internet Television Series that features new dance, music and film from Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver on YouTube. ARTCAST was designed to develop audiences for the arts and to link both audiences and artists in multiple cities. The series is free and not monetized in any way, so no ads appear.
In 2014, the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble was presented by the FONT Festival at the Village Zendo in NYC. In June 2013 the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble premiered ARCAST Season 1, with episodes of new dance, music and film created in Houston & New York City. In January 2012, the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble performed as part of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Sunday Matineé Concert Series. Notable commissions include an evening-length site-specific work for FotoFest International’s Biennial in April 2012; notable collaborations include the premiere of two new works with legendary bassist and composer Rufus Reid at Barnevelder Theater in Houston in 2010. In December 2008 the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble traveled to Sweden to create a dance and music on camera project with the Norrbotten Big Band, an internationally acclaimed jazz ensemble based in Luleå. The Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble returned to Sweden in December 2009 for live performances with the Norrbotten Big Band at the Stora Salen Theater in Luleå and the Akusticum Theater in Piteå.
The Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble has been featured at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas as part of FotoFest’s 2006 International Biennial dedicated to the themes of The Earth and Artists Responding to Violence. We have been presented at Northwestern University by the International Society of Improvised Music; the Interart Annex in New York City by Creative Women New York, and three times at the Miller Outdoor Theater as part of the Annual Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance.
Now in our 18th season of performances, the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble has commissioned twenty-five new music works for dance. Composers include Tim Hagans, Seth Paynter, Thomas Helton, Brian Nelson, Carol Morgan, Reynaldo Ochoa, Arthur Gottschalk and Rufus Reid. The Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble is based in New York City and Houston.