Sarah Michelson


Doris Duke Artist Award, 2012
Dance

Brooklyn, NY

Sarah Michelson is a choreographer and performer who synthesizes performance, installation, sound, and architectural elements in unexpected ways. Recent works include Devotion (2011), Dover Beach (2009), and commissions from Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oaks Project (The Experts), the Walker Art Center (Daylight (for Minneapolis)), and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Dogs). She is the recipient of the Der Foerder Prize, Arts International’s DNA Project Grant, multiple NEFA National Dance Project grants, multiple MAP Fund grants, a Creative Capital Award (2006), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), and the Whitney Biennial Bucksbaum Award (2012); and has served as a resident artist of On the Boards, Montclair State University, and the Walker Art Center. She has served as associate director of Movement Research, editor-in-chief of Performance Journal, and is currently an associate curator of dance at The Kitchen.

  • Devotion Study #1—The American Dancer (2012)
  • Devotion Study #1—The American Dancer (2012)
  • Photo Credit: Paula Court
    Dover Beach (2009)
  • Photo Credit: Paula Court
    Dover Beach (2009)
  • Daylight (for Minneapolis) (2005)

What fuels your impulse to make creative work?

I think it's my vocation. A funny thing to say perhaps but I feel that it's what I do. Go to the studio day after day year after year and get onto the burning coals. What is the most extreme choice I could make? How can anything ever be good enough to replace nothing? Replacing nothing with something is a dirty business. I take it seriously. It breaks my heart. But it's my work.