Doris Duke Impact Award, 2015
At age seven, Michelle Ellsworth told her mother “I want to be a dancer,” after watching the Ernest Flat Dancers on The Carol Burnett Show. Today, she uses humor and technology to explore a range of challenging themes including gender, genetics, politics, and ecology. Clytigation (2015)—a project of Creative Capital and named New York Times best of dance 2015—explores protocols for avoiding surveillance, interpersonal drama, and death. She also often develops and produces websites as part of her creative process. Choreography Generator (2014), the companion phone app to Clytigation, allows users to reorganize ten versions of six movement phrases into over one million different dances. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her current work, The Rehearsal Artist, is a 2015 MAP Fund Project, which is part installation, part performance, and part social science experiment set up to observe the slippery nature of identity.