Miguel Gutierrez is a New York based dance and music artist who has been called “one of our most provocative and necessary artistic voices” by Eva Yaa Asantewaa of Dance Magazine. He makes solo and group pieces with a variety of artists under the moniker Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People. Interested in enduring philosophical questions about desire, longing, and the search for meaning, Gutierrez’s work sits inside a legacy of process-focused experimental dance while drawing on far-reaching 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, Vegas, and queer performance in alternative clubs from the 80’s until now.
Gutierrez assembled the first incarnation of the Powerful People in 2001. Committed to working outside the traditional model of a dance 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. Regardless of the scale of the project, Gutierrez’s goal is to create challenging and thought-provoking performance experiences.
His pieces include HEAVENS WHAT HAVE I DONE (2010), I SAY THE WORD (2010, collaboration with Jenny Holzer), Last Meadow (2009, Bessie Award for Creative Team), Nothing, No thing (2008), Everyone (2007), myendlesslove (2006), and Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies (2005, Bessie Award for Choreography), among others. The work has been presented at festivals and venues nationally and internationally, including the American Realness Festival in NY; Festival D’Automne in Paris; Antipodes Festival in Brest, France; TBA/PICA in Portland, Oregon; Out There Festival at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; UNAM in Mexico City, and ImPulsTanz in Vienna, Austria.
He has received support from Creative Capital, Jerome Foundation, Rockefeller MAP Fund, NYFA, NEA and NPN. In 2010 he received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, and United States Artists. Along with the two Bessies he received for his own work, he received a Bessie Award in 2002 for his work as a dancer in John Jasperse Company.
He has engaged a wide variety of projects. He has created commissions for Philliip Adam’s Melbourne based company BalletLab (2007) and Pittsburgh based LabCo (2004). He has worked with Sydney based company The Fondue Set on two projects: in 2010 he created source material for their research residency at Campbelltown Arts Centre and in 2012 he created an original piece with them through a residency at CarriageWorks. In 2010 and 2011 he engaged in a research residency with Australian dance artist Luke George through Arts House in Melbourne. He has choreographed and performed in two music videos: Holcombe Waller’s song Hardliners and Le Tigre’s Aerobicon, which went viral and spawned various memes.
He served as the curator for The Kitchen’s Dance and Process program for two years, and was the curator for Chez Bushwick’s infamous SHTUDIO SHOW. Since 2006 he has worked as a volunteer mentor for the Theater Development Fund’s Open Doors Program, an arts education program for NYC public high school students. As a singer he has performed with Antony and the Johnsons and with French cellist/guitarist Vincent Segal. In addition he has recorded with My Robot Friend, Chris Forsyth, and played in the seminal wuss-rock band Princess from 1997 to 2001. In 2011 he released a self-produced EP called Songs for Midnight under the solo band name The Belleville. As a dancer Miguel has performed with Joe Goode Performance Group, Jennifer Monson, Jennifer Lacey, Ann Liv Young, Yvonne Meier, Sarah Michelson, Deborah Hay, Erin Cornell, Juliette Mapp, and Alain Buffard. He sits on the Artists’ Advisory Board for Danspace Project.
WHEN YOU RISE UP, a book of his performance texts, is available from 53rd State Press. In 2012 he completed a writing residency at RadarLab in Mexico to work on his first collection of poems You talk shit and other poems. He invented DEEP AEROBICS, an absurdist workout for the radical in all of us that has been unleashed in NYC, Durham, NC, Portland, OR, Berlin, and Brussels to name just a few places. He teaches classes and workshops throughout the world in contemporary technique and composition and in SenseWork, a research into the senses that combines neurology, anatomy and creative process.
Miguel is also currently training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner.