Michelle Ellsworth Blog Mar 16, 2015

by Joshua Kohl

At a career training workshop I attended with Michelle Ellsworth a year ago she was questioning the need for publicity in general, stating that she really might prefer a bovine audience to a human one, and why can't she just make an arrangement with a farmer, have him bring the cows, and do it in a field.  She seemed serious.  Really.  After last night's performance I have to say, I am deeply grateful that she didn't take that approach - I was grateful to have been allowed to be there.  It was one of the most enjoyable, hilarious, exciting and engaging shows I have seen.  Michelle is a master of fucking with form; form of dance, form of performance art, form of comedy, form of installation.  It is a play in the purest sense of the word play - she is playing with all of the tools of the performance experience, creating a space of wonder.  Somehow her work uses many of the usual expected cliches of performance art, but they just feel fresh, real, honest, ironic but not cynical.  I think it has something to do with the fact that her work is just an amplification of her everyday personality.  She has found a way to take all of her quirks and neurosis - amplify them - and share them with the world with a generous sense of humor in an uber-smart environment.  The perfect example of someone who makes strengths out of her weaknesses.  Oh.. and if you weren't there and are reading this you are wondering what the show was?  It was... uh... pancakes...  acropolis... symmetrical modern dance, accidental levitation, portals, awkward prosthetic legs...  you had to be there.