Mike O'Connor

Mike O'Connor

DAS Choreography


'his gift was to search in the outer world what nature had laid in his inner world.'- Goethe

Michael O'Connor's focus during his MA studies is looking at movement and interacting bodies through the field of cognitive science.  Love, empathy and metaphor are ares of interest as they are aspects we use to connect to the things around us.  We find meaning through comparison, shared experiences and embodied understandings of concepts.  While working with specific fields of thought that bridge neuroscience, philosophy, psychology and anthropology, Michael is examining how a dancer's movement has the potential to be qualitatively precise and to point towards new understandings of concepts such as 'love is an action.'  What are ways to enhance expression of meaning with the body in performance? How can we negotiate the internal/external, mind/body, top/down-bottom/up processes to be at a choreographic advantage?  Detailing the physical and psychological methods used to create performance is necessary when finding alternate ways of choreographing. An aim for this period of research is also to develop a working language that can cross utilize terms between arts and academic fields.

Michael O'Connor is a choreographer, performer, improviser and teacher. He holds a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. During his education, Michael opened doors at the University for artistic research and experimental choreography. Since 2007 he has been based in Vienna, Austria and was listed in BalletTanz Magazine as the 'young dancer to watch' in 2008 for his piece 'a waiting dog dies.'  He has worked with Deborah Hay, David Zambrano, Willi Dorner, among others in a variety of stage and site specific works.  He has been guest artist faculty at Arizona State University twice and has taught at ImpulsTanz, SNDO, SEAD, TanzQuartier Wien and with festivals like DanceUmbrella and Tanz im August.  He is also a Fieldwork facilitator who helps guide artists in methods of speaking about work that is non suggestive or directional.  His company A Waiting Dog, makes work that focuses on the body in consequence as the main source of expression.  His interests pull from philosophy, neuroscience, psychology and phenomenology.  A major component in all of his work are mutable qualities that are contingent to the environment. Words that are important for him in his choreography are: Attunement, Resonance, Modulation, Awareness, Exchange, Negotiation and Synchronicity. 

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