LET THE THANK YOUS BEGIN!

Thank you to all the amazing people who are backing my Kickstarter campaign. Please feel free to join the list by donating to:

Three Works by Michelle Boulé

And if you’d like to go the tax-deductible route, click here to make a 100% tax-deductible donation through my fiscal-sponsor New York Live Arts.

THANK YOU!

Hearts abound for ❤ ❤ ❤

Todd Shalom
Alan Fleming
L. Hafezi
Juliana May
Elizabeth Doud
Sam Miller
John Stark
Oren Barnoy
Ezra Tessler
Dr. Mel Boulé
Brian Rogers
Niegel Smith
Rosie Goldensohn
Stephanie Pereira
Tony Carlson
Moira Brennan
K.J. Holmes
Stacey Levine
Ben Pryor
Yanira Castro
Matthew Walker
Michelle Amador
Kim Kort
Ingrid Nachstern
Marti Wolfson
Kaneza Schaal
Jules Skloot
Lenore Doxsee
Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects
Lily Baldwin
Sarah Galender Meyer
Sixto Wagan
Michael Lavelle
Ori Flomin
Daniella Jaeger
Luke George
Antonio Ramos
Danielle Boulé
Carmine Covelli
Crista Cole-Hafezi
Justin Cabrillos
Courtney Krantz
Alma Quintana Lazcano
Lance Gries
Emily Wexler
Cori Olinghouse
Zornitsa Stoyanova
Kyli Kleven
Tomasz Werner
Michal Rosenn
Joseph Isler
Aiko Kinoshita
Christine Elmo
Marci Skolnick
Donna Uchizono
Rishauna Mari
Hilary Clark
Elke Rindfleisch
Jayoung Yoon
Justin Lamb
Gemma Shusterman
Anna Azrieli
Alex Samets
Miguel Gutierrez
Mel Boulé
Rebecca Wender
Natalie Robin
Vanessa Anspaugh
Celia T. Wolters
Melvin Boulé
Rebecca Wender
Natalie Robin
Vanessa Anspaugh
Celia Wolters
RoseAnne Spradlin
Richard D Becker
Mike Inwood
Neal Thorburn
William Crosbie
Tom Creed
Heather Frazier
Hahn Rowe
Caitlin Simpson
Joan Athey
Marissa Perel
Christy Loebach
Mike Skoglund
Joseph Waugh
Kayt MacMaster
Katherine Meyers
Diana Crum
Tony Evans
Jill Booth-Clibborn
Amiti Perry
Kevin Sheneberger
Lindsay Gilmour
Renée Wadleight
John Jasperse
Adrienne Truscott
Natalia Ariane Hafezi
Ruthann Rains
Craig Bellafiore
Margaret Wallin-Hart
Patricia Knowles
Ilse Pfeifer
Peggy Cheng
Alexey Kokhanov
Tony Orrico
Gwen Welliver
Marie-Claude & Peter Schauer
Paul Langland
Terry Michael Gammon
Frances McCaughan
Dave Ratzlow
Casper the Dog
Robin Slominski
Lily Bo
Geena Hanson
Tina Clark
Angela Vock
John Scott
Jessica Conway
Olivia and Dehlia Bernardi
Eva Dorman
Hadar Ahuvia
Alison Clark
Deke Weaver
Michael Fleming
Michal Samama
Travis Gonzalez
Gregory Brackett
Katherine
Janice Lancaster Larsen
Genevieve Beth Grady
Julián Orduna Guerrero
Jacob Slominski
Ann Marie Lonsdale
increased pledge from Juliana May 🙂
Eric Damon Walters
Susanna Young
Kathe Robin
Terryann Nikides
Anders Griffen
Laurel Snyder
Gregory Madden
Neal Beasley
Jessica Green
Boru O’Brien O’Connell
Mark Dendy Dance and Theater Projects
Emily Baumann
Zatapathique
Ruthie Epstein
Toni Yagoda
Tamara Riewe
Kota Yamazaki
Amy Birnbaum
DeAwna McGinley Cherney
Debbie Moran
Isabel Barnes
Mary Ochsenschlager
Kim Goldman
Beth Gill
Stacy Grossfield
Allison Bachmeier
Jaime Fennelly
Paul Duncan
Tricia Albertson
Michaela Cannon
Jill Tajiri Jacobs

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I’m turning myself ON

I’m writing this as I leave Ramallah via the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.  We arrived at the airport over three hours early, leaving extra time for heightened airport security and the possibility of delays at the checkpoints.  At one checkpoint, there were about 20 Palestinian men waiting outside in the 4am darkness for buses that would take them to work on the Israeli side.  They’re not allowed to cross over by car, and there was no bus in site.  Our Jerusalem-born Palestinian driver told us this has been the case for the last 4-5 years.  Luckily, we zipped through the checkpoint…no unloading of our luggage, extensive questioning or having to get out of the car to prove that we are dancers, as I heard a Norwegian group had to do last year.

My response to this short time in Israel and Palestine resonates physically.  From the little I gathered through conversations with Irsaelis and Palestinians, I leave simply with a heaviness in my heart.  It literally beats less freely when subject to the tensions these people face on a daily basis, where a machine-gun carrying soldier, a wall and barbed-wire fences are the norm.  I also leave with a heightened sense of the violent acts that happen on a daily, even minute-to-minute basis between nations, cultures, neighbors, families, and even within our own selves.

At the very least, I can be responsible towards myself and the people I interact with everyday.  It almost feels like a violent act to jump from a conflict-stricken nation to focusing solely on me, myself, and I, but it’s here where I truly have the immediate power to make a difference–to attempt to undo all that I’ve acquired that supports fear, judgement, violence, manipulation, and separation, and to literally turn myself ON to the fierce clarity of love, forgiveness, and growth.  It’s a physical reaction.  If I can pay attention to this simple feeling of when I close down, when my heart literally beats less freely, I can also ask myself in the moment what other choice I can make to support space and movement.

As a dancer, I know and actively seek out this feeling of space and movement.  It’s my body in coordination and cooperation, in dialogue with itself.  It’s the feeling I get after taking class or having a good performance, where time is spent in deep attention and awareness.  Simply put, I physically function better.  My heart has space.  The Institute of HeartMath says the frequencies of one’s heart can be felt up to 12 feet away from the body.  It’s a measurable interaction with others that is happening constantly.

So I begin here.  It is in this awareness that I find responsibility and service in dance, in this form, in this art, in this exploration of the body.  It seems like a good first step to help change the world.

Peace in the Middle East.  There are so many stories and perspectives that I am unaware of, but I know what’s happening in my heart.

“It never hurts to think too highly of a person.  Often they become ennobled and act better because of it.”
-Nelson Mandela

SAVE THE DATE!

I’d like to invite you to the premiere of

WONDER

Choreographed and Performed by Michelle Boulé
Sound Design by Carmine Covelli
Lighting by Natalie Robin

_MG_8373Photo by Wah-Ming Chang

May 30-31, 2013
Issue Project Room – Emerging Artist Commission

Performances will take place at 8:00 pm at
The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew
520 Clinton Ave between Fulton and Atlantic Avenues
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

ISSUE Project Room’s Emerging Artists Commission program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York’s 62 counties.

This work was created, in part, with a space grant from BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the New York Community Trust (Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for the Arts).

Give yourself the chance for something to be different…

We are constantly making decisions…from the mundane choices of what to eat to the more existential questions of ‘what should I do with my life?’  And within this, so many of us are familiar with wanting things to change or be different.  I have two responses to this right now:

1 – Does the desire for something to change come from a compulsion…being unable to accept the way things are or being ‘addicted’ to feeling like something always needs to be different or better?  If so, maybe now’s the time for life to be just fine the way it is.

and/or…

2 – Can we make small choices in our lives that open us up to a practice of letting something be different?  We often say we want change or something else, but how often do we give ourselves that opportunity?  It can be as simple as eating something else for breakfast or taking a different route to work, if the idea of larger change seems daunting.  Inside of these small choices, we begin to actually take responsibility for–hear and honor through intention and action–our desires for something to be different.  We have to give ourselves a chance.

Presence

Two more things to share from a yoga class I took today:

1 – Consciousness has come together to put each one of us here…wow

and

2 – To quote the words of Meister Eckahrt:

‘If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.’

Quieting down

I had looked forward to spending almost the entire month of December in New York, hoping to find some grounding time at home after being on the road for 10 weeks this fall.  However, I soon filled this time with more and more commitments, busying myself with endless projects, appointments, and obligations.  There was certainly fun and enriching time to be had, but by December 21st, before flying to see my family for the holidays, I reached a tipping point.  I had a mysteriously swollen ankle and was continually breaking and spilling things in my home as I cleaned and packed.  I knew these things were a call to listen, and the world around me was speaking loud and clear.  I had been home for three much-anticipated weeks, and had yet to spend a single quiet night on my sofa enjoying my home…one of my favorite activities!

An over-booked, over-filled life had become my norm.  How much did I really need to take on?  What was wrong with an unfilled hour (or day!) on my iCal?  There is fear of this quiet time…when the noise drops away, we are left to face what is really there.  It looks different for everyone…how or what we use to distract ourselves, i.e. ‘keep the volume up’, and what we are ultimately distracting ourselves from.  ‘Facing what’s there’ could sound a bit doomsday, but essentially it’s an uncovering of deeper insights of who we are, what is important, and what rules of life are we subscribing to.  And sometimes it really just takes a brief moment of ‘no distractions’ to check-in and realign priorities.  Other times, it takes a full-on swollen ankle and a couple broken vases and glasses.  I’m happy it wasn’t more.

I’m  also happy for all the things I’ve done this year–the new relationships I formed, the places I’ve traveled, the projects I took on.  But it makes sense that as my ‘commitment’ cup runneth over, I’ve been instinctively seeking to read about minimalist living and Rilke’s writing on solitude, two meaningful things I’ve come across and am happy to share with you.  As this year ends and a new one begins, I wish you abundant time for quieting down…as if to tune the radio dial in more clearly to who you are and how you want to spend your precious time in this world.

from ‘Getting Unstuck’

Life has taught me the wisdom of moving toward what scares me. Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you’re sneaky, all the ways that you hide out, all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, and criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all of that with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you’re coming to know humanness altogether. We are all up against these things. We are all in this together. —Pema Chodron, Buddhist spiritual teacher and speaker